With the NHL trade deadline ending Monday afternoon, the Nashville Predators acquired Chicago Blackhawks forward Ryan Hartman. The Winnipeg Jets on the other hand acquired St. Louis Blues forward, Paul Stastny. Both acquisitions made their debut against each other Tuesday night. The starting goaltenders were Pekka Rinne and Connor Hellebuyck.
Nashville began the first period with very strong presence. With under nine minutes gone in the first period, Ryan Ellis sent a wrister through three defenders, and Nick Bonino tried to tuck home the rebound, but Hellebuyck made the saves to keep the score at 0-0. Ryan Hartman attempted a wrap around on Hellebuyck, but a Jets defender got his skates in the way before it got to the front of the net. After Viktor Arvidsson took a penalty for tripping, Patrik Laine flicked a wicked wrister past Rinne, but it hit the post. The score remained 0-0 at the end of the first.
Right after the opening face-off of the second period, Blake Wheeler carried the puck into the zone and got a shot off on Rinne. Just under three minutes after that play, Laine let go a wrist shot on Rinne. Laine recovered the rebound and passed the puck to Nikolaj Ehlers, who had an empty net. Ehlers missed the net, and the game remained 0-0. Former Predators forward, Matt Hendricks notched his fifth goal of the season with a pass from Joel Armia to give the Jets a 1-0 lead early in the second period.
Just 6:10 after the leading goal from the Jets, Roman Josi drove the puck towards the net, but was stopped by Hellebuyck on the initial shot. However, Craig Smith recovered the rebound and tucked it home to tie the game at 1-1. Mark Scheifele and P.K Subban both received offsetting minors with 10:13 remaining in the second period. As the 4-on-4 was ending, Scheifele brought himself behind Rinne as Jack Roslovic sent a beautiful backdoor feed to Scheifele to give him his 20th goal of the season and a 2-1 lead for the Jets.
Just over a minute after the go-ahead goal, Scheifele potted home a one-timer on the power play for his second goal of the night, and Paul Stastny recorded his first point as a Jet with an assist. With less than five minutes remaining in the second period, Kyle Turris picked up the loose puck inside the face-off circle and whipped a wrister top shelf, bringing the Predators within a goal. The Jets challenged the goal for offside; however, the goal would stand as called on the ice. The new NHL rule states that if a coach challenges a goal for offside and the call stands, the team will be charged with a penalty for delay of game. Nashville went on the power play for that reason. Only two seconds remained in the delay of game penalty when Mattias Ekholm shot the puck past Hellebuyck to tie the game 3-3. 33 seconds after the Preds tying goal, Ehlers netted his 25th goal of the season to make it 4-3.
The game remained 4-3 for the first 10 minutes of the third period. At exactly 10 minutes, Stastny recorded his first goal as a Winnipeg Jet along the goal line to give the Jets another two goal lead. As the public address announcer was announcing Stastny’s goal, Craig Smith scored his second of the night with a pass from Yannick Weber to put the Preds within one again at 5-4. Then, Ryan Johansen squeezed the puck on Hellebuyck’s short side with a beautiful pass from Arvidsson to tie the game for the third time, now 5-5. In his debut as a Predator, Ryan Hartman then redirected a Roman Josi shot, giving the Preds the lead for the first time with exactly one minute remaining in regulation, 6-5.
The Predators came back three times to get the victory against the second place team in the Central Division. Josi had five assists on the night, and Smith netted his 20th and 21st goal on the season. With Smith getting his 20th goal, he is the third person on the team to have 20 goals, as well as Viktor Arvidsson and Kevin Fiala. The Preds will head to Rogers Place on Thursday to play against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday at 8:00.