Ellis, Predators own Blue Jackets
Nashville improves to 15-0-1 in last 16 meetings against Columbus
Dan Ellis shut out Columbus for the second time in four days as the Nashville Predators mastered the Blue Jackets again with a 2-0 win on Friday night.
Jan Hlavac and Radek Bonk scored on consecutive shots in the second period and Ellis made a career-high 43 saves.
Nashville is 15-0-1 in its last 16 meetings with Columbus, matching the longest current points streak for one team against another. That's 31 of a possible 32 points head-to-head the past two seasons.
Ellis beat the Blue Jackets 3-0 on Tuesday night, stopping 36 shots.
There had been bad blood brewing after Nashville enforcer Jordin Tootoo tangled with two Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Twice on his way to the penalty box, Tootoo raised his arms and held up two fingers on each hand, signifying his name and number (22).
Seconds after Tootoo came on the ice to a chorus of boos Friday night, he fought with Columbus tough guy Jared Boll for a couple of minutes. After both landed a few punches, Boll muscled Tootoo to the ice and fell on top of him to loud cheers.
That was about it for any Columbus cheering.
The Blackhawks went up 2-0 early in the second period, then relied on Ellis.
Ryan Suter faked Nikolai Zherdev at the blue-line and teed up a hard slapshot from the high slot that Hlavac redirected in at 4:26 for his 12th goal.
Just over a minute and a half later, Bonk took a drop pass from Martin Erat and skated to the top of the left circle before beating goalie Fredrik Norrena with a rising shot that slipped inside the far post for his 14th.
The Blue Jackets outshot Nashville 43-25 after holding a 36-24 edge Tuesday in Nashville.
Ellis faced a lot of shots but not a lot of strong scoring chances. The best came midway through the third period, when Zherdev fed Ron Hainsey for a point-blank one-timer in the slot that Ellis smothered. He also stopped Aaron Rome on a similar shot with five and a half minutes left.