NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored four goals and Juuse Saros made 27 saves for his first shutout of the season, leading the Nashville Predators to a 6-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
Yakov Trenin and Nick Cousins also scored, and Mikael Granlund assisted on all four of Forsberg’s goals. The Predators have won two of three.
“Obviously, Filip was in scoring areas,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “He was feeling it tonight and it’s nice to see. I just think for the three of those guys as a line right now, that when you’re playing the right way, and you have the offensive ability to be very, very productive … so it’s nice to see them play the way they did tonight and also get rewarded for us.”
The shutout was the 15th of Saros’ career.
Columbus has lost consecutive contests.
“Not a good start by us,” Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner said. “We couldn’t make plays. We were not as sharp and as quick as we wanted to be throughout the night, but the start definitely hurt us.”
Forsberg scored the game’s first game at 4:56 of the opening period. Coming in from the left side with his skates nearly on the goal line, Forsberg beat Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins just under the crossbar on the short side with a wrist shot.
“I think the unreal part was Granny’s passes,” Forsberg said. “I don’t know how he made them happen, but all four goals were just tee-ups and I finished off obviously. But the last two I didn’t have to do too much.”
Trenin made it 2-0 at 12:43 of the first. Colton Sissons skated the puck into the Columbus zone on the right side on a 2-on-1 with Trenin. Sissons lifted a pass over the stick of Blue Jackets defender Adam Bovqvist, and Trenin beat Merzlikins with a one-timer.
Forsberg struck again nine seconds later from the slot after Granlund sent a backhand pass from the lower right circle for a one-timer that spelled the end of the night for Merzlikins, who allowed three goals on the nine shots he faced.
“You’re looking at trying to change the momentum at three,” Columbus coach Brad Larsen said. “Elvis has been tremendous for us. At that point, three quick ones like that, we’ve got to do something. There’s no blame. We move by it. He’s been a tremendous, tremendous key for us. I expect him to bounce right back.”
Joonas Korpisalo finished the game for Columbus. He made 25 saves in relief.
Forsberg capped his first hat trick of the season and seventh regular-season three-goal game of his career at 15:26 of the second.
With just 6.3 seconds remaining in the second, Forsberg notched his fourth of the game.
Cousins made the game 6-0 at 7:15 of the third.
Columbus appeared to end Saros’ shutout bid at 10:38 of the second, but his goal was taken off of the scoreboard following a Nashville challenge that determined Cole Sillinger to be offside on the play.
HOUSE OF HORRORS
Tuesday was the 50th regular-season game for the Blue Jackets in Nashville, and the 40th time they lost. Columbus has nine victories and one tie in the 10 games played in the Music City that didn’t end in a loss.
FORSBERG’S BIG NIGHT
Forsberg’s four goals marked the third time a Nashville player has scored that many goals in a game in franchise history, joining Eric Nystrom and Rocco Grimaldi.
Forsberg’s fourth goal was also his 400th career NHL point.
Forsberg extended his point-scoring streak to four games. Over that stretch, Forsberg has six goals and two assists. He has recorded at least one point in each of the four games since his return to the lineup after missing nine games with an upper-body injury.
Tuesday marked the start of seven straight games against Eastern Conference opponents for the Predators. Nashville hosts Boston on Thursday and Montreal on Saturday before heading on the road for games in against Detroit, the Islanders, the Devils and Rangers.
Predators: Host the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
Blue Jackets: Travel to Dallas on Thursday.
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