The Nashville Predators extended their current losing streak to six games as they lost to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.
For the 11th straight game, Nashville was scored upon first by their opponent when Michael Frolik scored his 15th of the season at 14:54 of the first period.
During the second period, the Predators were able to tie the game 1-1 with a Ryan Ellis (6) laser shot at 10:17. It would not take the Jets long to regain the lead, as they were able to tally another goal 35 seconds later. Pekka Rinne would not get any goal help as the Nashville offense dried up.
The third period provided chances for the Predators but goalie, Mike Hutchinson, was able to stop every Preds advance and receive his 20th win of the season. The Jets were able to get an EN goal from Drew Stafford (12) at 19:10 to seal the victory for Winnipeg. The final score in the match-up was 3-1.
Tonight, the Preds start a four-game, west coast road trip as they travel to Arizona to face the Coyotes at Gila River Arena.
In their last outing, the Arizona Coyotes (21-38-7) were defeated by the Montreal Canadiens 2-0. Montreal was able to get tallies from Lars Eller (10) (2nd-14:48) and an EN goal from Brendan Gallagher (19) with 2 seconds remaining in the game. Goalie, Mike Smith, was stellar in net, stopping 33 of 34 shots and earned the 3rd star of the game.
The Coyotes are currently in 6th place in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. Sam Gagner leads all Coyotes with 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists). Oliver Ekman-Larsson leads the team with 17 goals.
Keys to Watch
Vs. Arizona on the Season
This season, the Nashville Predators have played well against their opponent tonight. In two games, the Preds are 2-0 with wins in Nashville (10/21/14 4-3 W) and in Arizona (12/11/2014 5-1 W). There is some positivity that comes facing an opponent that you have beaten twice in a season with a +5 goal differential. If there was any team that Nashville could break this losing streak, Arizona is the team. Continue the faith, NASHVILLE! Remember: THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
Something’s Gotta Give!
Observing Saturday night’s defeat, a notion came across my mind. Something’s gotta give. The Nashville Predators offense has completely dried up. In the last six games, Nashville is offering 1.83 goals per game, and giving up 3.33 goals per game during their six game losing streak. This is not a recipe for success. Based upon interviews, players are becoming more and more frustrated with the lack of offensive production. Arizona will be without two of their best players in Martin Hanzal and Mikkel Boedker due to injury. Also, to possibly boost their offensive production, the Preds have recalled Viktor Stalberg from Milwaukee. Stalberg has played well in his 20 games with the Admirals, amassing two hat tricks, with 11 goals and 6 assists. Hopefully, Stalberg can spark the offense and give the defense some help.
Ellis: Back and Producing
When Ellis went down on January 9th, the Preds, collectively, knew his scoring would be missed. Since Ellis has returned, he has played well with three points in his last five games. The coaching staff, slowly, has been working Ellis back into the lineup. On Saturday, Ellis had 25 shifts with a total TOI of 22:06. The Preds will be depending on Ellis’ big shot, offensive production, and defensive ability to help remove the current skid that Nashville is on.
The Nashville Predators will look to end their losing streak as they begin a tough road test in the west. FOX Sports Tennessee will cover the game with a late, 9:00 pm CST start. You can also listen on 102.5 The Game. It’s going to be a late night! Stay up late with the Preds!