Nashville at Columbus
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Saturday, April 27, 2013
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
The Columbus Blue Jackets attempt to stamp their ticket to the postseason for just the second time in franchise history when they host the Central Division-rival Nashville Predators in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday. The Blue Jackets, whose only playoff appearance came in 2008-09, begin the day in ninth place in the Western Conference, one point behind the seventh-place Detroit Red Wings and even with the Minnesota Wild - who own the tiebreaker. Columbus has won seven of its last eight games overall and three of its four meetings with the Predators.
Nashville has missed out on the playoffs for the first time in four seasons and is in danger of finishing last in the conference. With a regulation loss and a Colorado Avalanche victory over Minnesota, the Predators will wind up in the basement in the West. Nashville has endured a disastrous April, going 1-8-1 after earning three of a possible four points in the first two games this month.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), FSN Ohio (Columbus)
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (16-22-9): Defenseman Kevin Klein has recorded eight points in his last 17 games after notching one in his previous 20 contests. Pekka Rinne is tied with Boston's Tuukka Rask, Vancouver's Cory Schneider and Phoenix's Mike Smith for the league lead with five shutouts. After posting five blankings in 72 starts last season, the Finn has reached that total in 30 fewer outings this campaign. Captain Shea Weber has collected 33 points in 40 career meetings with Columbus, his highest toal against any team. David Legwand has scored 20 times versus the Blue Jackets, the second-highest total by a player against one team in franchise history.
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (23-17-7): Sergei Bobrovsky has been a godsend for Columbus. In his first season with the club after being acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers, Bobrovsky is 17-5-3 with four shutouts and ranks sixth in the league in goals-against average (2.03) and second in save percentage (.931). With 62 career wins, he is tied with Mikhail Shtalenkov for fifth place on the all-time list among Russian-born goaltenders. Defenseman Adrian Aucoin's next point will be the 400th of his career. Columbus signed right wing Cam Atkinson to a two-year contract extension. The 23-year-old is the third player since the trade deadline to ink a new deal, joining Mark Letestu and Matt Calvert.
1. Nashville has dropped nine straight road games and is 1-11-4 in its last 16 away from home.
2. The Blue Jackets return home after a 5-1-0 road trip.
3. Columbus has been stellar at home, going 11-1-3 after a 2-4-2 start at Nationwide Arena.
PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 4, Predators 1
Stats and Records