The Nashville Predators faced off against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
This game was the exact opposite of Tuesday night’s wide-open contest as within the first two periods of play neither team was able to score.
Tyler Bozak (2) responded for the Maple Leafs at 5:52 to tie the game 1-1.
The game would go to overtime but both goaltenders stood strong and the game would go to a shootout.
After five rounds, Peter Holland beat Pekka Rinne to give Toronto the 2-1 win. Nashville pushed their record to 9-3-3 on the season.
Tonight, the Preds will faceoff against the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena.
The Jets are in the midst of a four-game roadtrip. In their last outing, the Jets lost to the Dallas Stars 6-3.
Keys to Watch
Within the last five games, the Nashville Predators are 2-2-1. They have given up 16 goals with only 13 goals for the Preds. This is not a recipe for success. Nashville needs to get some help on the defensive side and allow for Rinne to see the puck. Marek Mazanec was recently called up from Milwaukee due to an injury suffered to Carter Hutton. Could there be a break for Rinne soon? Only time will tell.
Face-off Bottom Dwellers
It is rare that you see two teams that struggle so much at face-off win percentage, and be in the top of the league in wins, but that match-up is tonight. Both teams are in the top half of the league in points (Nashville-21, Winnipeg-18) and in the bottom three in face-off win percentage. The Predators are currently ranked 28th in the league at 48.2% and the Jets are ranked 29th at 47.5%. Look for a focus in the face-off circle. The winner of this match-up will have a definite advantage for the victory.
Winnipeg Struggles in Net
In evaluation of the Jets leading up to tonight, one glaring statistic points out: Goals Against per Games Played. Ondrej Pavelec has played in 12 games this season for Winnipeg. In those games, Pavelec has given up 31 goals, .905 save percentage, and only four wins. On the other hand, Michael Hutchinson has played in seven games with 14 goals given up, .928 save percentage, and the other four wins for Winnipeg. Head Coach Paul Maurice has tabbed Hutchinson with the start against the Preds tonight. Look for a strong performance from the Jets defense to get going against Nashville.
The Preds will look to get back on track after their 2-1 loss to Toronto. Nashville will need another strong defensive performance, with timely scoring, to come away with a victory from a tough Winnipeg team that can score goals!
Tonight’s match-up will have an early start time as the puck will be dropped at 6:00 pm. The game will be covered on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.