Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Pekka Rinne made 30 stops and Nashville broke open the game with three goals in a span of 2:14 early in the third period to claim a 5-1 victory over Columbus at Nationwide Arena.
Craig Smith scored twice, Mike Fisher, Colin Wilson and Seth Jones once each for the Predators, winners of three straight and five of their last six.
"It was a good effort by us," Rinne said. "That's the way we've been playing this year. Nothing changed tonight. We played a solid game, and at the end it was nice to have that cushion."
Alexander Wennberg produced a late tally for the Blue Jackets, who lost for just the second time in their last 10 outings.
Sergei Bobrovsky was on the hook for four goals on 30 shots in defeat. Curtis McElhinney stopped four of five shots faced in the game's final 12 minutes.
Already ahead 2-0, the visitors squashed any hopes of a Jackets comeback in the final stanza.
Jones contributed his first goal of the year at 6:29 when he exploited a Columbus line change and slipped a shot through Bobrovsky on a rush, Smith ripped one home from the right wing just 44 seconds later to trigger the goaltending change, and Fisher capped the burst at 8:43 on a wrister from the left circle on another odd-man break.
Wennberg prevented a shutout on his power-play strike with 4:22 to play.
"We're disappointed because we hung our goalie out to dry," Jackets winger Nick Foligno said. "We let them dictate play. If you allow them to take over games, you'll be playing catch-up. That's what happened."
The Preds peppered Bobrovsky with 12 shots in the first period and failed to score, but dented him twice in a span of less than two minutes near the midway point of the second.
Wilson provided the first marker at 7:47 on a rush up the middle sprung by a lead pass from Victor Bartley. Smith doubled the lead at 9:25 by whipping home a Mike Ribeiro pass from a 2-on-1 break.
Nashville has won four of its last five games on the road, and completes its trip in Boston on Tuesday ... Columbus' only two shutout losses this season were 5-0 results at home, on Nov. 18 against Detroit and Nov. 28 against Vancouver.