Preds get mojo back, defeat Jets 3-1…
The Nashville Predators were solid in all aspects of the game last night in defeating the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena in front of another sellout crowd. The Preds came out strong in the 1st period & controlled the game by playing physical & winning almost every battle along the boards.
Alexander Radulov looked great in is homecoming return & had a couple of excellent scoring chances in the 1st period. If not for the stellar play of Jets G Ondrej Pavelec, the score could have been 3-0 in favor of the Preds. If not for the unbelievable chest save by Kevin Klein backing up Rinne, the Jets would have had the lead. After some exciting hockey, the score at the end of the 1st period was 0-0.
The 2nd period saw the Preds continue to play a strong game & then they broke through when Radulov hit a slot crashing Matt Halischuk for his 13th goal on the season at 2:56. At 10:01 of the 2nd period, F Gabriel Bourque was able to shovel home a rebound in front of the net for his 5th goal of the season giving the Preds a 2-0 lead. That is where the team would stay until late in the game as the Preds continued to play very solid hockey. Pekka Rinne was very good in net, but was beaten on a laser of a shot by Tim Stapelton to bring the Jets back into the game at 2-1 with 7 mins remaining. The Jets pushed, but were pushed right back & had trouble getting many good scoring chances in the last couple of mins.
D Shea Weber threw a lob from center ice into the empty net with 10 seconds remaining & hands went up & stayed there! The Preds will face Chicago later today on NBC Sports Network in a critical game for Western Conference Playoff standings.
F Gabriel Bourque appeared to be seriously injured after blocking a shot against Winnipeg, but was able to eventually make his way to the bench. He returned later in the 3rd period. F Colin Wilson is being brought back slowly from a groin strain, but he is listed as a healthy scratch.
The bottom line…
The Nashville Predators are 43-24-8 (94 Pts) with 7 games remaining and sit 3rd in The Central Division, 7 Pts behind St Louis (7 GR) & 1 Pt behind Detroit (7 GR).
-In the Western Conference the Predators are in 5th, with the chase pack: 6 Chicago (92 PTS 7 GR), 7 Phoenix (87 6 GR), 8 LA (86 7 GR) & 9 San Jose (86 7 GR).
-The Predators begin a 3 game road trip today in Chicago 6:30 CT, Tues @ St Louis 7 CT, And Fri @ Detroit 6:30 CT.
-F Alexander Radulov has 1G & 1A in 2 games since returning from the KHL.
-F Patric Hornqvist leads the team in Goals with 24, Mike Fisher 23.
-F Martin Erat leads the team with 39 Assists & Points 57.
-D Shea Weber leads the team in shots on goal with 212 & Hits 163.
-F Jordin Tootoo leads the team in Penalty Minutes with 87- D Kevin Klein has only 4 PiMs in 59 games.
-G Pekka Rinne is tied for most wins in the NHL with 40 & has now played in 67 games (previous high 64 last season).
Leg-watch 500- With 2 Goals Vs Edmonton on Tuesday, David Legwand now has 496 points in his career (187 G 309 A) with the Predators.