On Saturday, the Nashville Predators welcomed Seth Jones and the Columbus Blue Jackets into Bridgestone Arena. The Preds were dominant in front of the hometown crowd with a 5-1 victory. James Neal was able to get his 30th goal of the season early in the first period as Nashville went on to roll against Columbus. Boone Jenner tied the game at 1-1 in the first. Mattias Ekholm scored at 17:33 of the first period to push the Nashville lead to 2-1.
Nashville was able to get two goals in the second period from Craig Smith at 6:11 and a power-play goal from Shea Weber at 14:14. The third period was more of the same with Calle Jarnkrok scoring 23 seconds into the period for the 5-1 victory.
Keys to Watch
The Nashville Predators will look to clinch their spot for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight as they finish a four-game home stand at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds have been the best team in the NHL since February 12th, and seemed to have peaked at the right time. Momentum is the key moving forward. Winning tonight will be one step in the right direction.
When James Neal was brought into the organization, his impact offensively was a known quantity. He was known as a sharp-shooter in his time in Dallas and Pittsburgh. He has been a big help with advancing the play of Filip Forsberg. These players together have 61 goals and 46 assists. Lately, the offense has been by these two players in bulk. The Predators will need Neal and Forsberg to remain on top of their game.
Down, but not out
The Colorado Avalanche are trying to get the final spot for the playoffs in the Western Conference. They are battling against the Minnesota Wild for this last spot, but they are down by five points with less than ten games remaining. The Avs will be fighting with everything they have to get a win tonight. Colorado will be a tough opponent and Nashville can’t take them lightly.
The Preds will look to clinch their ticket to the postseason tonight in front of the Loyal Legion. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 7:00 pm!