Nashville Predators 3 Winnipeg Jets 1 – It was the Predators' first regular season visit to Winnipeg and, with the help of some bounces, the Predators made it two-for-two so far on a three game road trip.
Nashville will play in Minnesota on Tuesday while the Jets close out their six-game home stand against Washington (TSN Jets, TSN 1290). The Jets and Preds then meet again Thursday in Nashville (TSN Jets, TSN 1290).
There was no scoring in the first period despite the Jets outshooting Nashville 15-12. It was the first time this season the Jets outshot their opponent in the opening period. The Jets went on a power play early in the second, only to see Eric Nystrom score a short-handed goal for the Predators. Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien had a shot blocked by Nystrom on the play, creating a two-on-one for Nashville. It was the first shorthanded goal the Jets have allowed this season and the first Nashville has scored.
The second period struggles continued for the Jets on Sunday night as Patric Hornqvist picked off an Ondrej Pavelec clearing attempt, fired the puck towards the net and had it go off the skates of Zach Bogosian and in, giving Nashville a 2-0 lead. Later in the period, and just seconds after the Jets killed off a penalty, Matt Cullen beat Pavelec up high to make it 3-0. The Jets have only scored three second period goals themselves all = season and were held without on Sunday.
Evander Kane got the Jets on the board midway through the third period, netting his fifth of the season to make it 3-1 but that's as close as Winnipeg would get. Kane finished the game with 10 shots on goal, the second 10-shot game of his career.
Unlike Friday there was no Jets' comeback as Nashville goaltender Carter Hutton stopped 38-of-39 shots for his first NHL win.
The Jets are now 4-5 on the season and 3-4 at home and Kane felt despite some bad bounces that the team needed a better effort.
"You have to battle through, show some character," he said.
Pavelec meanwhile had this to say after the game: "the way we play some nights. We can't be successful."
As for Coach Claude Noel, he again cautioned about using the shots on goal to judge the game.
"We got shots but we didn't create enough. We didn't battle to get the second shot," he said. "We didn't have enough 'A' games from our group, at times we played just to play. You have to be more emotionally connected to the game."
Byfuglien ended the night with seven shots on goal on a team high 27:18 of ice time. The Jets were without Jim Slater, Mark Stuart, Jacob Trouba and Chris Thorburn because of injuries, while Eric Tangradi was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. Devin Setoguchi, a healthy scratch Friday, was back in the lineup and assisted on the Kane goal. Adam Pardy, up from St. John's, was very solid in 13:38 of ice time.
Tuesday against Washington will be Hockey Fights Cancer Night. All Jets players will wear a special edition lavender Jets jersey during the pre-game warm up. Fans that purchased raffle tickets over the past number of home games will have a chance to win one of the jerseys. Tickets will be on sale at Tuesday's game. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.