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Associated Press
11/20/2006 9:53:42 PM


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Paul Kariya and Martin Erat each had a goal and an assist as the Nashville Predators beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 Monday night.

Tomas Vokoun lost his shutout bid with 15 seconds left but finished with 23 saves in his 10th win of the season for the Predators, who defeated Columbus for the third time in six days. Scott Nichol also scored for the Nashville, which won 13 of 16.

Jason Chimera scored for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped a season-high six straight. Columbus entered with the fewest points (11) and goals scored (39) in the NHL and was nearly shut out for the third time in five contests.

Columbus' Adam Foote, who entered a team-worst minus-11, couldn't keep a bouncing puck in the Nashville zone. Erat banked a lead pass off the boards to Kariya, who scooped it up, cut in alone down the left wing and beat goaltender Fredrik Norrena with a backhand move to make it 1-0 at 9:49 of the first period.

Nashville made it 2-0 early in the second period on a power-play goal by Nichol. Steve Sullivan skated the length of the ice, fending off several Blue Jackets players. He put on the brakes and sent a cross-ice pass to David Legwand at the left circle. Legwand one-timed the puck to Nichol for a tap-in.

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