Shots against the Nashville Predators were few and far between for the first two periods Tuesday. Then a pair of goals 39 seconds apart in the third created too big a deficit for them to overcome.
Patric Hornqvist and Martin Erat, the Predators’ top two goal scorers, each found the mark but Nashville lost 3-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Columbus. The defeat was the Predators’ fourth straight overall and just their fifth in the last 27 meetings with Columbus (22-3-2).
The Blue Jackets managed just five shots in each of the first two periods. They still led 1-0 at the start of the third on Derick Brassard’s goal with 3:50 to go before the second intermission.
Kristian Huselius and Fredrik Modin stretched the advantage to 3-0 when they scored on two of three shots in a 39-second span of the third. Huselius’ goal came with 56 seconds remaining on a hooking penalty to Jason Arnott.
Erat finally got the Predators on the board with 9:54 to go. It was his 17th goal of the season.
He then had the primary assist on Hornqvist’s team-leading 21st, which came on a rebound with 4:24 remaining.
Nashville outshot Columbus 31-17 overall, but goalie Pekka Rinne made just 14 saves and lost for the third time in his last four decisions.