Two Central division rivals meet up Saturday afternoon as the Winnipeg Jets travel to Tennessee to take on the Nashville Predators. Both teams are coming off wins in their first game after the Olympic break and will be looking to continue the trend and keep pushing for the post season. The teams currently sit eleventh and twelfth in the West and are both still very much alive if they can string some wins together. The Preds have dominated the season series winning 3 of 4 and stealing some very valuable points from the Jets. Winnipeg looks to turn it around Saturday afternoon, Lets Go!
The Predators currently sit in twelfth place in the West, just 4 points out of the final playoff spot, not bad considering they have been without their number one goaltender Pekka Rinne all season. Nashville came back from a 2-0 deficit Wednesday night to earn a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Preds got all three of their goals courtesy the powerplay where they are quite dangerous. Nashville is led by Norris caliber, and recent gold medal winning defense man Shea Webber. Webber remains one of the best in the league at what he does, and can normally shut down the other teams top offensive unit. The Preds are the only team behind Winnipeg in the Central division standings and will be looking to change that Saturday afternoon.
The Jets returned from the Olympic break and continued right where they left off, picking up there tenth win in the short time that Paul Maurice has been the bench boss. The Jets were not dominant in their return to action Wednesday night, the rust was evident for both teams, but a very scrappy effort by Winnipeg earned them a 3-2 shootout victory. The last time these two teams met was one of the few losses the Jets have suffered since the arrival of Maurice, the 4-3 loss was very disappointing for the Jets who looked tired and did not play well. The team is rested now however and back to playing A hockey. Winnipeg looks for its second straight Saturday afternoon in Nashville.
Discipline: The Predators have the fifth ranked powerplay in the league and will make Winnipeg pay if they end up in the box. Play smart and give yourself a chance to win.
Pavvy: The Czech goaltender earned some criticism with his performance in Sochi, however in his first game back with the Jets he made some good saves, including some game savers in OT. The Jets need him at the top of his game to make this playoff push successful.
Score some goals: The Jets offense was not quite back to form for their first game wiht both their goals coming off some fluke plays.It doesn’t matter how you get them though as long as you get more of them, still, the Jets will need to see some more from their scorers if they hope to win.
Ondrej Pavelec (19-22-4) GAA: 2.95 SV% .902
Carter Hutton (14-9-4) GAA: 2.84 SV% .904
Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Halischuk WPG, (arm) day-to-day
Rinne NSH, (hip) out
Spaling NSH, (lower body injury) out
Tight game but Jets come out on top
Jets 4 Predators 3
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