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Blue Jackets outlast Predators, 4-3

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Sergei Bobrovksy shook off a slap shot to his mask and withstood two late goals, and Mark Letestu had a goal and an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the struggling Nashville Predators 4-3 on Tuesday night to extend their franchise-record point streak to 11 games.

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Fedor Tyutin, Nikita Nikitin and Derick Brassard also scored for Columbus, which is on a 7-0-4 run. The Blue Jackets won this one with their offense that ranks last in the NHL.

Vinny Prospal added three assists.

Bobrovsky, who made 32 saves, came in on a 6-0-2 spurt with two shutouts in the previous eight games. Jack Johnson had two assists for the Blue Jackets, whose previous four games were decided by shootouts.

Gabriel Bourque, Chris Mueller and Mike Fisher scored for the Predators, who are on a season-worst, four-game skid.

Shea Webber added two assists but Nashville fell to 3-9-1 in its last 13 games. Nashville has allowed 20 goals in its last four games.

Pekka Rinne, who had been pulled in two of his previous three starts, finished with 27 saves.

Columbus appeared to break the game open late in the third period with two quick goals to make it 4-1, but Nashville rallied with two of their own 47 seconds apart in the final two minutes.

Mueller scored his first career goal on a jam shot with 2:01 remaining, and Fisher made it 4-3 with a spinning backhander under the stretched leg of Bobrovsky for his seventh.

Nikitin's floating shot from the point through a congested slot found the net for his third, on the power play, to make it 3-1 with 10 minutes remaining. Just under three minutes later, Brassard, trailing the play, took a nice feed from Letestu and beat Renne with a low shot for his fifth.

Bobrovsky was stunned in the second period when he took Kevin Klein's slap shot in the mask and didn't hop back up. Bobrovksy was tended to by a trainer for several minutes near the net as he wiped his face and used smelling salts before he was ready to play again.

Tyutin sent a wrist shot from the deep point through traffic for his 200th career point at 4:08 of the second period to give Columbus a 1-0 lead.

Letestu followed with his seventh 5:31 later after a long Columbus possession in the Predators zone. A nice keep at the right point by rookie defenseman Dalton Prout to Prospal kept the attack alive. Prospal whipped a long pass to the left circle to Letestu, who wristed a shot over Rinne's blocker.

The Predators made some noise late in the period. Bourque's slap shot deflected off a skate and skidded past Bobrovsky for his 10th to make it 2-1 at 14:45.

Nashville's Taylor Beck, playing in his first NHL game, rammed into unsuspecting Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno, when the puck was not in the area. Foligno didn't return to the game.

NOTES: Beck was recalled from Milwaukee of the AHL, and Nashville placed F Paul Gaustad on the injured list on Tuesday. The Predators were also without injured C Colin Wilson, RW Patrick Hornqvist and D Hall Gill. ... Prout's assist was the first point of his career. ... Predators coach Barry Trotz benched LW Sergei Kostitsyn for making a bad line change Sunday, leading to a goal in a 3-2 loss at Edmonton. ... The Blue Jackets have won 12 of 16 against Nashville. ... The Predators went 1-4 on a five-game trip.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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