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By The Numbers: Preds surging up standings amid 13-game point streak

Nashville Predators celebrate Nashville Predators celebrate - The Canadian Press

The Nashville Predators unlaced their skates Wednesday night having collected a point for the 13th game in a row after defeating the Winnipeg Jets 4-2.

Their streak dates back to Feb. 17, when they beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 in regulation. At the time, the Preds sat fifth in the Central Division and ninth in the Western Conference with 58 points and a goal minus-12 differential.

Their win in St. Louis kick-started a five-game win streak on the road, downing the Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, and Anaheim Ducks after beating the Blues with all wins coming in regulation.

The Preds kept winning at home too, rattling off three more regulation victories before being taken to the brink of defeat by the Montreal Canadiens on March 5.

The Habs and Preds went back and forth, with overtime being needed to decide the winner.

Montreal’s Nick Suzuki scored the game-winner 16 seconds into the extra frame to snap the Preds' winning tear, though the single overtime point preserved their point streak.

As a result of their improved play, the Predators rocketed to fourth in the Central and eighth in the Western Conference with 73 points. Their goal differential also saw a monumental uptick in the process too, improving to plus-8.

Though they weren't done yet.

The Predators kept stacking points, beating the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets last week in the standard 60 minutes before falling to the Minnesota Wild in OT a day later on Sunday. Once again, they collected a point in the loss.

The Predators got back in the win column Wednesday night with a 4-2 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets to stretch their point streak to 13.

“We knew it was a big game,” said Predators’ Roman Josi following the game. “They’re [the Jets] one of the best teams in the league and I felt like we played a really good game for 60 minutes. I felt like maybe in the beginning there [they had] a couple of good chances, but after that, I felt like we played fast, we were relentless and didn’t give them much time. It’s just a great game for us.”

“I just feel like we’ve been playing very connected as a team,” Josi said on the point streak. “You look back, every game was a team effort and every game different guys step up. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Gustav Nyquist echoed a similar sentiment to his captain.

“I think we’ve learned that there’s no easy games in this league, no matter whether you’re up against a team in the top of the standings or at the bottom,” he said Wednesday.

“I think lately, we’re just finding a way to focus on our game and how we want to play, and if we do that, we know we’re a tough opponent for any of the teams. So, I think it’s more about us than any other team.”

Since Feb. 15, the Predators have kept pace in the ultra-competitive Central Division, currently ruled by the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars. Each team has 89 points, respectively.

The point streak has catapulted them into sixth place in the Western Conference as they barrel toward the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a plus-12 goal differential and hold the top Wild-Card spot with 80 points.

Hidden in the shadow of the team's recent streak is the success of forward Filip Forsberg

The 29-year-old Swede has amassed 16 points since Feb. 17, with three of those coming via a hat trick against the Sabres. Forsberg now leads the Preds in scoring with 69 points and sits eight goals back of his career-high of 42.

At the other end of the ice, Juuse Saros' strong play amid the point fiesta has him among the league leaders in a few goaltending categories.

His 1,519 saves are second in the league behind New York Rangers goaltender Ilya Sorokin, and his 28 wins are seventh in the league.

While the Preds don't have enough time remaining to catch the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers, who own the record for the longest point streak in NHL history with 35 games, they look to keep trucking along with 15 games remaining in the regular season.