for this game

Smithson scores twice as Predators again top Blue Jackets

Jan 14, 2007 - 5:13 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Jerred Smithson's career night led the Nashville Predators to their fifth straight win.

Smithson recorded his first career two-goal game and Chris Mason made 39 saves as the Predators remained unbeaten against the Columbus Blue Jackets this season with a 4-1 triumph.

Entering with three goals this campaign and eight in 131 NHL contests, Smithson needed a span of less than three minutes in the first half of the opening period to give Nashville a 2-0 lead. The 27-year-old began the scoring at 5:06 and tallied again 2:50 later off a feed from Scott Nichol, who returned to the lineup after serving a nine-game suspension.

"It was nice to get the two goals, but better than that, we got the win," Smithson said.

Paul Kariya expanded the advantage late in the period and defenseman Shea Weber added his second goal in as many nights in the middle session for the Predators. Mason was at his best in the third, turning aside all 22 shots he faced.

"We really played well in the first period and I thought we were going to continue like we played last night," Mason said. "I'm sure they got a tongue-lashing after the first period and they came out and just really took it to us the next two periods. We were lucky to hold on, I think."

"Chris Mason was outstanding," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "I said to the guys, 'We should apologize to him for the last two periods.' There is no question he was outstanding for us."

Nichol finished with two assists for Nashville, which extended its winning streak to five games and improved to 5-0-0 against Columbus this campaign.

"It's tough to win in this league against anybody, and when you have success against someone five times, there has to be some good fortune, there has to be some good play," Trotz said. "I think all of the above has been part of the reason we've had success against Columbus."

"We don't think too much about that," Columbus' Dan Fritsche said. "We've had some close games with them. They're a good hockey team, and good hockey teams find a way to win. I think we're better now than we were earlier in the year, and one of these times we're going to catch them and get a win."

The teams meet for the third time in seven days at Gaylord Entertainment Center on Thursday.

Defenseman Ron Hainsey tallied for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped four straight and seven of nine.

"We made three mistakes, and they ended up in our net," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We are competing at a really high level right now, but we're just not winning."

After goaltender Fredrik Norrena stopped Josef Vasicek's shot from the right faceoff circle, Smithson buried the rebound just over five minutes into the first for a 1-0 edge. He doubled the advantage at 7:56, beating Norrena with a wrist shot from the high slot.

"The first one was just a shot on net, and I just went to the net and the rebound was there and I just knocked it in," Smithson said. "If I didn't put it in, I'm sure Scotty Nichols would have, he was right there.

"The second one, I got a good pass from Scotty and I was at the end of my shift. I just wanted to try and get it on net, and somehow, it just found the twine."

Kariya scored his eighth goal in 12 games with 1:54 to go in the period and Weber beat goalie Ty Conklin with a slap shot from the left circle at 16:07 of the second to complete the scoring for Nashville, which raised its record to 13-3-1 against Central Division rivals.

"Just one of those bounces," said Weber, who will participate in the NHL YoungStars Game during the All-Star break. "The puck squirted out and I just got it on net and it happened to go in."

Norrena was replaced by Conklin after the first period but returned to play the final six minutes of the third.

"They expose our mistakes," said Norrena, who allowed three goals on 12 shots. "You have one mistake and it seems to hurt you every time. It's a team game. If we don't have 20 guys battling from the first second, we're going to be in trouble."

Hainsey spoiled Mason's bid for a shutout midway through the middle session, scoring on a wrister from the right point during a power play.

"Anson (Carter) was at the net and did a good job of screening," Hainsey said. "The puck found its way in."

The win was Nashville's 16th on the road, two shy of the franchise record set in 2000-01.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 3 1 0 4
    COLUMBUS 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - JERRED SMITHSON 4 (JOSEF VASICEK, SCOTT NICHOL) 5:06
    NAS - JERRED SMITHSON 5 (SCOTT NICHOL) 7:56
    NAS - PAUL KARIYA 15 (DAVID LEGWAND, MARTIN ERAT) 18:06
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) RON HAINSEY 5 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, DAN FR

    Jan 13 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 3 1 4
    COLUMBUS 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - JERRED SMITHSON 4 (JOSEF VASICEK, SCOTT NICHOL) 5:06
    NAS - JERRED SMITHSON 5 (SCOTT NICHOL) 7:56
    NAS - PAUL KARIYA 15 (DAVID LEGWAND, MARTIN ERAT) 18:06
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) RON HAINSEY 5 (NIKOLAI ZH

    Jan 13 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 4
    COLUMBUS 1
    2ND PRD: NAS - SHEA WEBER 8 (STEVE SULLIVAN, JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 16:07

    Predators vs. Blue JacketsJan 13 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 3
    COLUMBUS 1
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) RON HAINSEY 5 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, DAN FRITSCHE)
    10:28

    Predators vs. Blue JacketsJan 13 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 3 3
    COLUMBUS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - JERRED SMITHSON 4 (JOSEF VASICEK, SCOTT NICHOL) 5:06
    NAS - JERRED SMITHSON 5 (SCOTT NICHOL) 7:56
    NAS - PAUL KARIYA 15 (DAVID LEGWAND, MARTIN ERAT) 18:06
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --

    Jan 13 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 3
    COLUMBUS 0
    1ST PRD: NAS - PAUL KARIYA 15 (DAVID LEGWAND, MARTIN ERAT) 18:06

    Predators vs. Blue JacketsJan 13 7:38 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    COLUMBUS 0
    1ST PRD: NAS - JERRED SMITHSON 5 (SCOTT NICHOL) 7:56

    Predators vs. Blue JacketsJan 13 7:23 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    COLUMBUS 0
    1ST PRD: NAS - JERRED SMITHSON 4 (JOSEF VASICEK) 5:06

    Predators vs. Blue JacketsJan 13 7:22 PM