Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Predators, Jets take recent surges into Central clash

Field Level Media
24 Jan 2023, 09:19 GMT+10

The Winnipeg Jets look for their third straight victory when they visit the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

While the Jets are coming off a 5-3 win over the host Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, the Predators won for the third time in their past four games with a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

The Jets' Karson Kuhlman's scored the go-ahead goal against the Flyers with 11:16 to play as Winnipeg squandered an early 3-0 lead before putting away the victory in the final period.

Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele scored in the first 8:31 of the game before the Flyers tied it on Kevin Hayes' second goal of the night just 2:35 into the third period.

After Kuhlman gave the Jets a 4-3 lead, Kevin Stenlund added an empty-net goal to provide the final margin.

David Rittich (8-4-0, 2.62 goals-against average) made 28 saves for the Jets, who received two assists from Brendan Dillon.

"We've got a lot of skill on this team, and we know in the room when we commit to defending and playing the right way, we're going to score enough goals this year to be able to offset that," Dillon said. "We committed to it for a good chunk of the game, enough to win tonight."

Kyle Connor has a team-high 24 goals to go along with 33 assists for a team-leading 57 points for the Jets, while Josh Morrissey has eight goals and a team-high 43 assists for 51 points. Pierre-Luc Dubois has 20 goals and 30 assists.

Nashville squandered an early lead before rallying against the Kings.

Mikael Granlund and Matt Duchene each scored in the first 39 seconds to stake the Predators to a 2-0 lead before the Kings stormed back to take a 3-2 lead on Quinton Byfield's power-play tally with 2:56 left in the second period.

But Nashville's Ryan Johansen tied the game at the 8:44 mark of the third period before Duchene's second of the game gave the Predators a 4-3 lead they wouldn't relinquish at 13:34 of the final period. Cole Smith's first goal of the season secured the win with 3:50 to play.

Johansen and Granlund each added an assist, while Roman Josi had three assists for the Predators, who received 31 saves from Juuse Saros (17-13-5, 2.75 GAA).

"Tonight it was a hungry group, it was a passionate group," Nashville coach John Hynes said. "Throughout the lineup we had good performances and I thought guys played to the ability they can play to, so it was a good game. It was a good response game, and I certainly think we can take some lessons out of this one and build on it going (forward)."

Josi, with 12 goals and a team-high 27 assists, and Filip Forsberg, who has a team-leading 18 goals to go along with 21 assists, are tied for the team lead with 39 points. Duchene has 13 goals and 23 assists for 36 points, while Granlund has five goals and 22 assists.

The host Jets won the teams' first meeting 2-1 in overtime on Dec. 15.

After Forsberg gave Nashville a 1-0 lead at the 9:04 mark of the first period in the previous matchup, Dylan DeMelo tied the game with 4:36 left in the frame. Kyle Connor's goal with 1:29 left in overtime won it for the Jets.

--Field Level Media

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