Cody Glass and Yakov Trenin scored for Nashville, winners of back-to-back home games.
Gustav Nyquist scored and Daniil Tarasov made 26 saves for Columbus, losers of five of six.
''Tonight we had 20-plus scoring chances, that's a good night,'' Columbus coach Brad Larsen said. ''You get one goal, you tip your cap to their goalie.''
After beating the Calgary Flames 2-1 at home on Monday, Lankinen edged the Blue Jackets in a game that was rescheduled from a Thanksgiving weekend postponement of a pair of games due to a water main break that made Bridgestone Arena unplayable.
''I thought the Calgary game was much more complete,'' Nashville coach John Hynes said. ''I thought the final 40 minutes of this game . I thought we had a great start, thought we had a good first period. Then I thought we left our foot off the gas in the second and third''
Lankinen was especially strong in the second and third, making 15 saves in each period.
''I'm really proud of the way we're sticking with our structure, and our penalty kill has been huge for a longer period of time already,'' Lankinen said. ''So I think that's a couple good recipes for winning and now we just to keep hammering that and we'll be fine.''
He had to be particularly sharp during a penalty kill midway through the second. With former Blue Jacket Matt Duchene in the penalty box, Columbus put seven shots on Lankinen, including three off the stick of Patrik Laine.
''I had a lot of great looks tonight and obviously my job is to fire them every time I can and I feel like I was doing that tonight, but I just couldn't finish the job,'' Laine said.
Glass scored the game's first goal at 5:42 of the second period.
Trenin doubled the Nashville lead with 3:05 left in the second after Roman Josi carried the puck behind the net and found Trenin in the right circle.
Nyquist spoiled Lankinen's shutout bid at 9:01 of the third just after a Columbus power play expired.
Blue Jackets: Host Anaheim on Thursday night.
Predators: At St. Louis on Thursday night.
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