The Nashville Predators have won five of the last six games after losing four in-a-row on the road earlier this November.
On Thanksgiving Eve Wednesday night, the Predators defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-0, at Nationwide Arena. Matt Cullen scored the eventually game-winner 9:58 in the first period after Nashville dominated the first half of the opening period. Cullen gives all the credit to defenseman Ryan Ellis for setting up the goal.
Said Cullen to Fox Sports Tennessee, "He made a really nice pass back to me and kind of surprised everyone there."
Solid defensive effort and opportune goals locked up the victory for Nashville against their former Central Division rival. Head coach Barry Trotz's "scoring by committee" mentality was on display Wednesday. Mike Fisher, David Legwand and Nick Spaling added the insurance goals for the Preds.
2012 sixth round draft pick Marek Mazanec earned his second shutout in the last five games, facing just nineteen shots. With yet another win under his belt, Mazanec's goals against average improves to a stellar .935.
This was the first of a back-to-back as Nashville will take on the Edmonton Oilers on Thanksgiving night at home.
– Nashville's five-on-five time on ice leader will surprise you. It wasn't Shea Weber, Seth Jones or Roman Josi. It was arguably their six best defenseman on the roster Victor Bartley. Bartley led the team with 19:34 on 5v5.
– The Nick Spaling – Matt Cullen – Craig Smith line was explosive against Columbus. The three combined for five points and each had a +2 rating.
– Another line that will be kept together against Edmonton is Viktor Stalberg – David Legwand – Gabriel Bourque. They showed their speed and created offense in the process. They combined for four points.
– Paul Gaustad was nine-for-thirteen in the faceoff dot and won the highest number of faceoffs.
NSH – 1-0: Matt Cullen – Ellis and Spaling at 9:58 in the 1st
NSH – 2-0: PP Mike Fisher – Bourque and Josi at 0:54 in the 2nd
NSH – 3-0: David Legwand – Stalberg and Bourque (2) at 8:56 in the 2nd
NSH – 4-0: Nick Spaling – Cullen and Ellis (2) at 2:02 in the 3rd
NSH: Marek Mazanec (W) – 19 saves on 19 shots; played 60:00
CBJ: Sergei Bobrovsky (L) – 25 saves on 29 shots; played 60:00
My Three Stars
1. Matt Cullen: Goal & Assist
2. Marek Mazanec: 19 saves, Shutout
3. Ryan Ellis: 2 Assists
Line Up Report
Predators scratches: Forsberg, Hornqvist and Ekholm
Predators starters: Clune, Gaustad, Hendricks, Weber, Josi and Mazanec
Blue Jackets scratches: Nikitin, Erixon and MacKenzie
Blue Jackets starters: Comeau, Umberger, Letestu, Johnson, Tyutin and Bobrovsky