With wins in both matinee games this weekend, the Predators improved to 5-1-0 against Columbus this season, handing them their fifth straight loss.
Saturday's and Sunday's games were nearly mirror images of each other; in both games, Joonas Korpisalo and Juuse Saros started, the Blue Jackets scored first, and the Preds scored at least two unanswered goals, killing all six penalties against them in the meantime.
Returning from an injury he sustained on Feb. 9 against Tampa Bay, Mattias Ekholm sure made a grand re-entry onto the score sheet. Ekholm scored both goals in Saturday's 2-1 win, chalking up his first career multi-point game. Combining both games, Ekholm took eight shots and recorded a +3 on-ice rating.
Juuse Saros came alive this weekend after struggling with a .869 save percentage on the season. He shut down 57 of Columbus' 59 collective shots for a .966 SV% over both games.
Nashville also boasted their first shorthanded goal of the season yesterday; his second goal in three games, Erik Haula sent the Blue Jackets packing while Ryan Johansen was in the box on a slashing minor. Matt Benning notched his first point of the season as well as his first as a member of the Preds on Haula's goal.
Viktor Arvidsson, after going pointless in 10 games but taking a blistering 29 shots in the process, finally shook the monkey off his back with an assist on Nick Cousins' game-tying goal yesterday.
With Eeli Tolvanen's game-winning power play goal yesterday, the Preds now have five PPGs in the same number of games. Since being called up from the taxi squad on Feb. 1, Tolvanen has netted three goals and an assist, compiling the team's best individual high-danger shots.
The Preds will continue the homestand when the Hurricanes come to town tomorrow evening, making up for the COVID-related postponement on Jan. 20. The two teams have met just once this season, but Carolina's Andrei Svechnikov-Sebastian Aho-Vincent Trocheck trio thrashed the Preds for a combined three goals and three assists on Jan. 18.