The Nashville Predators traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday night to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. The game began with the Preds giving up the first goal of the game. Victor Rask scored his 11th of the season to give the Canes a 1-0 lead and they took the lead into intermission.
The second period allowed the Preds to get back in the match. Calle Jarnkrok was called for a slash on Brett Pesce. During the penalty kill, the Paul Gaustad deflected a shot-on-net by Mattias Ekholm to give the Preds their second short-handed goal of this road trip at 12:35.
The third period had lots of back-and-forth action, but neither team could break through to send the game to overtime.
The Nashville fan base has seen their team get over matched and out played during this season’s atrocious showing during the overtime this season. For the first time in the Nashville franchise, the Predators scored a 3-on-3 overtime goal when Mattias Ekholm made a great play to give the Preds a 2-1 win in Raleigh.
The Nashville Predators will return to Bridgestone Arena tonight as they welcome in the Winnipeg Jets. On Sunday, the Jets lost to the Anaheim Ducks 4-1.
Keys to Watch
The Winnipeg Jets will be coming into Bridgestone Arena to avenge the November 14th 7-0 loss to the Predators. On that night, both teams amassed 156 penalty minutes which is the the second-highest penalty minutes between two teams in franchise history. The highest was 210 penalty minutes against the Red Wings on October 20th, 2003. The Jets will come into Nashville looking to get a win in front of the Nashville crowd. Look for the Jets to start out strong. The Preds will have to stop Winnipeg’s early offensive rush.
Weak Special Teams
The Winnipeg Jets are struggling with one of the worst power-play and penalty kill units in the NHL. On power-play, Winnipeg ranks 29th with a percentage of 13.9% while the penalty kill ranks 28th with a percentage of 76.3%. The Nashville Predators will have an advantage in special team units. Currently, Nashville is 8th in power-play with a 20.3% conversion rate while the penalty kill lags behind at 25th with a 77.4% rate. The Preds have to take advantage of their time on the power-play. Don’t get cute, but get chances on the Jets goaltender.
Mattias Ekholm has been playing exceptional over the last five games of the season. The Borlange, Sweden native has two goals and two assists over the last five games with a +2 rating. He’s also seeing an increased time on the ice with a high of 29 shifts and 20:52 time-on-ice. Ekholm has been showing his worth as of recent and becoming an important part of the Nashville offense. The better he plays, the more time he will see on the ice.
The Predators will look to keep the momentum going tonight against a division opponent in Winnipeg. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 7:00 pm!