Originally posted on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 1/20/12

The Nashville Predators shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night to win their 15th of the last 20 contests. Goaltender Pekka Rinne picked up his 24th career shutout for Nashville, 4th of this season, making 38 saves.

 

Rinne has won six straight starts.

After a scoreless first period, the Predators beat Columbus netminder Steve Mason when Sergei Kostitsyn passed the puck cross-ice on a 2-on-1 odd-man rush with Martin Erat. Erat connected for his 11th goal of the season at 11:08 into the middle frame.

Barely over two minutes later at 13:11 of the second period, Mike Fisher added to the Predators lead scoring on the power play. Erat picked up an assist on the goal.

Derek Dorsett was in the penalty box for goaltender interference, though replay showed he was pushed into Rinne by Predators defenseman Kevin Klein.

Despite throwing 18 shots at Rinne in the third period alone, Columbus was unable to get back into the game.

Shea Weber added an empty net, short-handed goal in the final minute of regulation.

It was the first time this season that Columbus was shutout.

Nashville went 2-1 on their three game road trip winning against the Islanders on Monday afternoon by a 3-1 score but being shutout by the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers on Tuesday night 3-0.

The Predators return home to host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena before hosting the Blue Jackets for the final time this season on Monday.

 

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