COLUMBUS, Ohio – COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Steve Mason made 29 saves and Derick Brassard, Kristian Huselius and Fredrik Modin scored goals to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Tuesday night.
The Predators, who lost their fourth in a row, had gone 22-2-2 against the Blue Jackets since the start of the 2006-2007 season, including wins in the previous five meetings.
The Blue Jackets built a 3-0 lead with two third-period goals and then held on after Martin Erat and Patric Hornqvist countered with goals for the Predators.
Mason, playing in his 100th NHL game, made several big stops down the stretch, including a save on Hornqvist's redirect in the final minute.
With Columbus leading 1-0 heading into the third on Brassard's seventh goal, the Blue Jackets added some breathing room.
Huselius tallied his 16th on a perfect power-play set-up from Rick Nash. Nash was on the right wing and slid the puck through the crease to Huselius, who was alone at the doorstep at the 8-minute mark.
Just 39 seconds later, the Blue Jackets made it 3-0 when Jan Hejda's slap shot from the left point handcuffed Pekka Rinne, the puck floating behind him and sitting a few inches from the goal line as he sat sprawled on the ice. Modin had matched up with Jason Arnott at the goal mouth, with Modin finally able to punch the puck across the line after it sat unattended for 2 seconds.
Midway through the period, Erat narrowed the gap when he scored his 17th on a sharp wrister from the left circle that beat Mason high on the stick side.
It tightened further when Hornqvist pounced on a rebound and scored his team-leading 21st goal with 4:24 remaining to cut the Columbus lead to 3-2.
From there to the finish, the Blue Jackets were desperate to clear the puck and make the big lead stand.
The Predators carried the play for most of the first two periods, yet still trailed.
The Blue Jackets broke through at 16:10 of the second. R.J. Umberger very nearly scored on a shot from the high slot that Rinne blocked. The puck ended up on the stick of Milan Jurcina at the right point. Brassard was providing a screen and was able to get a piece of Jurcina's slap shot. The puck slipped past Rinne and lazily slid over the goal line before Nashville defenseman Kevin Klein could get to it.
One of Nashville's best scoring chances came in the opening minutes. Columbus defenseman Mike Commodore lost his stick and tried to kick the puck out of the Blue Jackets' defensive zone but it went directly to Erat, who rushed the net but Mason made the stop.
NOTES: Nashville C Marcel Goc (upper body) and RW Joel Ward (lower body) were scratched. ... Columbus RW Jared Boll played in his 200th NHL game. ... Mason improved to 46-37-13 in his 100 games. ... It was the fifth of six meetings this year, the Predators taking the first four. ... Rinne had 14 saves. ... Nashville's four-game losing streak is its longest since a six-game skid in the first two weeks of the season.