COLUMBUS, Ohio – Steve Mason made 20 saves for his 18th NHL shutout and Rick Nash scored two of Columbus' four third-period goals to lift the Blue Jackets to a 4-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
Nash, Matt Calvert and Antoine Vermette scored in a 8:38 span early in the third to help the Blue Jackets move within two points of eighth place in the Western Conference.
Fedor Tyutin and Kris Russell each added two assists for Columbus, 10-3-3 in its past 16 games and 7-1-2 against Nashville at home in the past 10 meetings. Mason has shut out the Predators twice this season.
Nashville, which entered the night as the fifth-place team in the West, has lost three of four after winning three of four.
Pekka Rinne, who brought the NHL's second-best goals-against average at 2.10, made 26 saves, including a toe stop on R.J. Umberger's breakaway in the second period.
Nash broke through early in the third. He took the puck at center ice, fended off Kevin Klein along the right side and beat Rinne with a backhand-to-forehand move. The Blue Jackets are 16-3-3 when Nash scores a goal.
Then working on the man advantage a few minutes later, an dump-in by Russell popped off the end boards with Rinne out from his net to play the puck and it instead came right to Calvert, who had an easy empty net shot for his sixth goal.
Vermette made it 3-0 at 9:49, finishing off a nice passing combination from Grant Clitsome at the point to Russell at the left circle to Vermette for a redirection from the crease. Vermette has 15 goals on the season.
Nash snapped home his second of the game, on the power play, at 19:09 for his team-leading 29th goal of the season.
The Blue Jackets outshot Nashville 13-3 in the final period.
Notes: The game was the first of six of eight on the road for Nashville. ... Columbus welcomed RW Derek Dorsett, out three games with a head injury, back into the lineup while LW Kristian Huselius was scratched with a lower-body injury. ... The Predators were without D Ryan Suter, who suffered an upper-body injury Saturday but is expected to return Thursday and injured LW Sergei Kostitsyn, the team's second-leading scorer. ... D Jonathon Blum, Nashville's 2007 first-round pick, made his NHL debut.