Last night, the Nashville Predators made their way to Winnipeg to take on the Jets for the final contest this season between the two teams. The Jets jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a Drew Stafford (17) goal at 7:28 of the first period. The Preds were able to get two goals within 11 seconds of each other at the end of the first period by Craig Smith and Colton Sissons. Neither team scored during the second period so Nashville went into the third period with a 2-1 lead.
During the third period, the Preds scored two goals from Ryan Johansen and Craig Smith with his second of the game. The Jets were able to get another goal to make the game 4-2. Pekka Rinne hung on to play exceptional with 21 out of 23 saves, .913 save percentage, and push his overall record on the season to 27-18-10.
Keys to Watch
The Nashville Predators were able to keep their current streak going for a franchise record of 13 straight games. Tonight, the Predators will look to continue this streak as they take on the Calgary Flames. The challenge for tonight will be to ramp up the energy after a physical contest with a division opponent last night. Most NHL teams traditionally struggle on the second game of a back-to-back set. The Preds did not have a morning skate today. Look for Carter Hutton to get the start after a challenging matchup last night in Winnipeg to give Rinne a break.
Struggling Defense for the Flames
The glaring problem with the Calgary Flames this season have been their suspect defense corps and goaltending. The Flames defense currently allows the 2nd most goals per game average in the NHL at 3.11 goals against per game, only the Arizona Coyotes have a higher percentage at 3.12 goals against per game. On the season, the Flames have allowed 205 goals in 66 games played. The Nashville Predators have the opportunity to put up multiple goals tonight if they can take advantage of a weak defensive team.
The Predators organization has always been known for their defensive-minded style of play since the formation of the organization. Under the Barry Trotz regime, the Nashville Predators dominated teams with a smothering defense and exceptional goaltending. Coach Peter Laviolette has produced a team that is now one of the top offensive teams in the NHL. Currently, the Nashville Predators are ranked 8th in goals scored (182), 9th in goals scored per game (2.72), 10th in power-play conversion (19.6), and 10th in shots (30.6). It is good to see the Predators as an elite offensive team, adding to their defensive capabilities.
Be sure to catch all of the action tonight as the Predators look to continue their winning streak. The game will be covered on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at the Scotiabank Saddledome at 8:30 pm!