The Nashville Predators welcomed in the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night to Bridgestone Arena. Nashville was looking to keep the momentum going after the overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes last Saturday.
The Preds dominated the Jets in shots (44/18) and takeaways (8/6), but did not dominate on the scoreboard as they lost 4-1. The lone goal of the game for Nashville was by Colin Wilson in the third period at 13:23.
The Preds continued to struggle on the power-play, giving up two goals to Drew Stafford. They also lost in the face-off circle winning 48% of the draws.
Tonight, the Preds travel to Colorado, with newly-acquired Ryan Johansen, to take on the Avs. In their last outing, the Avs defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-3 in overtime.
Keys to Watch
A New Face
In what some are calling the biggest trade in franchise history, the Nashville Predators acquired Ryan Johansen from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Seth Jones in a blockbuster trade. The Preds had an abundance of young talent 0n the blue line, and from all indications, if a trade was made, it would come from that group. The Preds hated to give up a talent like Seth Jones, but when you can get a talent like Johansen, you can’t pass it up. So, what are the Preds getting? This season, Johansen has six goals and 20 assists, which ties him for second on the team with 26 points. A 2010 4th-overall draft pick of Columbus, Johansen is two seasons removed from 33 goals and 30 assists. Last season, the Vancouver, BC, Canada native had 71 points. He has been having a down year in Columbus, many attribute to Coach John Tortorella. Johansen is big, fast, good on face-offs at 52.3%, and a legitimate first-line center. After a short acclimation period, look for Johansen to flourish in an offensive-minded system of Coach Peter Laviolette. View the five takeaways from the trade, Johansen’s first press conference and David Poile’s reaction.
Nipping at our heels
Tonight’s Central Division showdown will be a tough test for Nashville. The Avs are only two points behind the Predators, who hold on to the eight seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Now, there are still lots of hockey left to play, but tonight’s contest will be a very good indication for the remainder of the season. Nashville seems to be in a current holding pattern. At 45 points and one game in hand, Nashville has the opportunity tonight to make some distance between themselves and Colorado. The Preds have struggled away from Bridgestone Arena with a record of 7-8-4 on the season. Nashville needs a win tonight.
Same Song, Different Verse
It seems as though every time that Nashville plays the Colorado Avalanche the concern is the same, their top lines versus the Nashville defense. Tonight’s matchup will be no different. The Preds will have to contend with the offensive capabilities of Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabriel Landeskog. These three players have the ability to put up points quick. The key for Nashville will be to remain a physical presence against the top lines of Colorado. Anthony Bitetto will be stepping in as the sixth defenseman with the loss of Seth Jones. He is projected to be on the third defensive pair with Barret Jackman.
Tonight will serve as a good test for the Predators, building chemistry with the shuffling of the lines. 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 the Pepsi Center at 8:00 pm!!