for this game

Ellis posts shutout as Predators blank Blue Jackets

Mar 29, 2008 - 3:30 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Dan Ellis has been impenetrable at just the right time for the Nashville Predators.

Ellis posted his second consecutive shutout as the Predators skated to a 2-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

Jan Hlavac and Radek Bonk each scored second-period goals and Ellis stopped 43 shots for Nashville (39-31-8), which pulled even in points with Vancouver (38-30-10) for eighth place in the Western Conference.

The Canucks suffered a 4-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

"I thought the first period was key for us," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "We also got some timely goals in the second, started to take over some momentum and were able to capitalize on our chances.

"Destiny is in our own hands. If we end up tied, we're in. If we don't get the job done, we can only blame ourselves."

Nashville, which has gone 15-0-1 over the past two seasons against Columbus, watched as the 27-year-old Ellis blanked the Blue Jackets for the second time in four days.

"I just feel really good right now," Ellis said. "I hope this isn't the peak. I hope there's a higher level to go. I just want to help this team make the playoffs."

"I thought Ellie was very good tonight," Trotz said.

On Tuesday, Ellis made 36 saves for his fifth shutout of the season - and his career - in a 3-0 win.

"The game the other night was a little more difficult," Ellis said. "They kept coming with constant pressure. Tonight, it was more spaced out and I was able to find the pucks."

"We could have done a lot more," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "If you look back on these last two, we weren't able to finish against Nashville. We just didn't win the battles in the offensive zone."

In this one, Ellis turned aside 13 shots in the first period, 16 in the second and 14 in the third to run his shutout streak to 165 minutes, 18 seconds. Ellis last surrendered a goal in the first period of a 2-1 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks last Saturday.

"We couldn't beat Ellis," Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash said. "We had a lot of shots, we just didn't have much traffic. We had a lot of shots and lot of chances there down the middle. We were finding his chest pretty easy. It was a matter of getting pucks up high, and we just didn't do that tonight."

After a scoreless first period, Hlavac got the Predators on the board when he redirected a shot by defenseman Ryan Suter between the pads of goaltender Fredrik Norrena from the top of the crease at 4:26. It was Hlavac's 12th goal of the season and second in as many games.

"We came hard, I give us a lot of credit," Trotz said. "We had a lot of focus and energy in the second."

Just 98 seconds later, on Nashville's very next shot, Bonk scored on a blast from the top of the right faceoff circle that beat Norrena to the glove side, doubling the lead. It was Bonk's 14th tally of the campaign and also his second in two contests.

"It's always good to contribute in a game you have to win," Bonk said. "Right now, it doesn't matter who scores as long as we win."

"After we scored those two goals, we kind of slowed down a little," Hlavac added. "However, we found a way to win, and that's important."

Norrena made 23 saves for the Blue Jackets, who are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the seventh time in as many seasons of existence.

"Mathematically, it's not impossible," said Hitchcock, whose team is seven points out of eighth place in the West with four games remaining. "But someone is going to get the points once they have to play one another. That will knock us out."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 2 0 2
    COLUMBUS 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NAS - JAN HLAVAC 12 (RYAN SUTER, JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 4:26
    NAS - RADEK BONK 14 (MARTIN ERAT, ALEXANDER RADULOV) 6:04
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: NAS - 0 OF 3, COB - 0 OF 2.
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Mar 28 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 2 2
    COLUMBUS 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NAS - JAN HLAVAC 12 (RYAN SUTER, JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 4:26
    NAS - RADEK BONK 14 (MARTIN ERAT, ALEXANDER RADULOV) 6:04
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 9

    Mar 28 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    COLUMBUS 0
    2ND PRD: NAS - RADEK BONK 14 (MARTIN ERAT, ALEXANDER RADULOV) 6:04

    Predators 2, Blue Jackets 0  2nd - 13:56Mar 28 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    COLUMBUS 0
    2ND PRD: NAS - JAN HLAVAC 12 (RYAN SUTER, JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 4:26

    Predators 1, Blue Jackets 0  2nd - 15:34Mar 28 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0
    COLUMBUS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 9 9
    COB 13 13
    GOALIES: NAS - DAN ELLIS
    COB - FREDRIK NORRENA

    Mar 28 7:45 PM