Blue Jackets Vs. Predators NHL Preview: Columbus Looking To Hold Off Surging Nashville

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 15: Marc Methot #3 of the Columbus Blue Jacket checks Justin Williams #14 of the Los Angeles Kings during the third period of their game at Nationwide Arena on December 15, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. The Kings defeated the Blue Jackets 2-1. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

For more on the Columbus Blue Jackets, go to The Cannon.

In what has been an up-and-down season overall, the Columbus Blue Jackets have hit another part of particular rockiness. They're losers in their last three outings, including a 6-4 loss to the St. Louis Blues in their last outing on Sunday. Now, with significant rest, they'll continue their road trip as they head into a game against the Nashville Predators, looking to break the skid of three losses.

The Predators, however, are looking to avoid getting a losing skid started. Nashville lost its last outing, a 4-1 loss on the road to the Washington Capitals, but before that had won five-straight games. All of those five wins came by just one goal, with two of them coming in overtime or shootout. For the most part, Columbus has been able to put points on the board, they're just getting out-shot and losing by one goal most of the time.

Seeing as how that's the trend for Nashville, it's really a mixed bag of expectations. The Blue Jackets can be expected to have some offensive production, but at the same time, those expectations may be tempered to assuming that they're going to fall short of besting the hot Predators. As far as expectations are concerned, the Predators have won two of the three meetings between the two teams this season, and could be favored again. The visiting team won all three of those games, though, so the Blue Jackets could, once again, feel good about things.

Columbus hasn't won a game in regulation since Nov. 25, and sorely need to pick up a win sooner rather than later. The game is set for 8:00 p.m. eastern on Thursday.

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