(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators will try to extend their winning streak to a season-high four games when they host the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets in Saturday's clash at Bridgestone Arena.
The Predators have won three straight for the second time this season, matching their run from Nov. 6-11. Nashville, which enters Saturday tied with St. Louis for the Central Division lead, hasn't posted four consecutive wins since Jan. 31-Feb. 7, 2013.
All three of Nashville's recent wins have come after regulation, as the Preds opened a four-game homestand with close wins over Florida, Los Angeles and Edmonton. The Preds posted shootout decisions over the Panthers and Kings on Saturday and Tuesday, respectively, and then notched a 1-0 overtime victory against the Oilers on Thanksgiving night.
Filip Forsberg continued his impressive season, scoring with 1:05 remaining in overtime to help the Preds down Edmonton on Thursday.
Nashville did not appear to be in good shape early in OT, as the Oilers began the extra session on a power play, then were awarded a penalty shot 13 seconds into the extra session when Nashville defenseman Shea Weber closed his hand on the puck while in the crease. Pekka Rinne denied Jordan Eberle on the free chance, stretching with his left pad to deny the penalty shot attempt at the right post.
Moments later, Forsberg spun to shield the puck from an Edmonton player and fired a wrist shot from the left circle past Viktor Fasth.
Forsberg is leading all rookies this season in both goals (10) and assists (13).
Rinne made 37 saves to earn his second shutout of the season and 34th of his career.
"It wasn't our strongest game, but we came through at the end," Rinne said. "We kept improving the whole night."
Rinne has solid career numbers against the Blue Jackets and is expected to start tonight. He owns a 15-7-2 record and a 2.44 goals against average in 25 career games versus Columbus.
The Blue Jackets have lost five straight heading into tonight's tilt, but the club hopes to pick up a win this evening against a team it has had a run of success against in recent years. Columbus has claimed three of four and five of the last seven overall meetings with the Preds and also has won two in a row and three of the past four encounters in Music City.
Columbus, however, is mired in a 0-4-1 drought and only has two wins over its last 16 games (2-12-2). The Blue Jackets, who have been decimated by injuries in 2014-15, are dead last in the NHL standings with 14 points after making the playoffs last spring for only the second time in team history.
The Blue Jackets were routed Friday night at home despite trailing Vancouver only 1-0 after 40 minutes. The Canucks added four more goals in the third period and Ryan Miller completed a shutout in the 5-0 blowout.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves on 29 shots for Columbus.
"We just couldn't score. They do have one of the best goalies in the world, no question, but we didn't score a goal," said Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson.
Columbus is currently playing without a host of key players including forwards Brandon Dubinsky, Nathan Horton, Mark Letestu and defensemen Ryan Murray and Fedor Tyutin. Among that group, Dubinsky is believed to be the closest to returning, but he has yet to play this season and is questionable for tonight.