Jarnkrok, Rinne power Predators past Blue Jackets 3-1
By MITCH STACY, AP Sports Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Nashville Predators finished off a successful early-season trip with a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Predators won a couple in California before beating Columbus 3-1, with the only loss coming in the first game of the swing at San Jose on Nov. 1.
“We did what we had to do on the road here, so it was good,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “(We) walk away with six points out of eight on a road trip this early. For me, it’s good to be in the spot we’re in.”
Calle Jarnkrok scored in the third period and Pekka Rinne stopped 35 shots for the Predators, who dealt Columbus its third straight loss.
“I’ve been feeling really good, my body has been feeling good, and I seem to see the puck really well right now,” Rinne said. “Also tonight I gave up a few not-so-great rebounds, and guys were there for me, so that’s what I need, too.”
Jarnkrok put Nashville ahead to stay , sweeping a rebound past goaltender Joonas Korpisalo with 5:35 remaining. The Blue Jackets challenged the goal, contending Kevin Fiala interfered with Korpisalo and kept him from making the save, but it was upheld after a video replay.
Matt Irwin scored in the first period and Viktor Arvidsson got an empty-net goal in the final minute for the Predators (8-5-2).
Korpisalo, who started for Sergei Bobrovsky on the second night of a back-to-back, also turned in a strong performance, stopping 26 shots. Rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the Blue Jackets (9-6-1).
After a scoreless first period in which Columbus had an 11-8 shot advantage, Nashville got on the board with 7:24 left in the second. Irwin scored his second goal of the season when he got a nice crossing pass from Arvidsson and lifted a wrist shot over Korpisalo’s glove.
Dubois tied it at 1 with an impressive sequence 4:37 into the third period. He picked the pocket of P.K. Subban in the neutral zone, charged in and beat Rinne with a backhander for his second of the season.
“What I liked was his acceleration, because I thought he was going to get caught,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said of Dubois’ rush to the goal. “The kid is doing a lot of good things right now.”
Each team had four power plays with no goals to show for it, but Tortorella was encouraged.
“I thought we had a lot of good minutes tonight,” he said. “I thought the power play looked good all night long. We’re close, but we just (couldn’t) find a way to score a goal tonight when we needed it.”
NOTES: Nashville was without C Kyle Turris, who was acquired from Ottawa as part of a three-way trade with Colorado on Sunday. Turris is going through the immigration process and should be available when the Predators host Pittsburgh on Saturday. … F Scott Hartnell returned to Nationwide Arena for the first time since signing a free-agent contract with the Predators. He spent the previous three seasons in Columbus. … Blue Jackets D Gabriel Carlsson returned to the lineup after missing 11 games with an injury. F Cam Atkinson, the Blue Jackets leading scorer last season, also returned after missing four games with an injury. He played nearly 24 minutes Tuesday.
Nashville: Hosts Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
Columbus: Hosts Carolina on Friday night.
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