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Predators, Jets look to climb closer to playoff spot

Saturday, 03.01.2014 / 1:13 AM

NHL.com

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Predators, Jets look to climb closer to playoff spot
Winnipeg Jets vs. Nashville Predators

JETS (29-26-6) at PREDATORS (26-24-10)

TV: TSN-JETS, FS-TN

Last 10: Winnipeg 6-3-1; Nashville 5-2-3

Season series: This is the fifth and final game between the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators. Craig Smith has four points for Nashville, which has won three of the first four games.

Big story: The bottom two teams in the Central Division are coming off wins in their first game back after the Olympic break. Winnipeg and Nashville enter this game within a handful of points for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Team Scope:

Jets: Winnipeg blew a third-period lead before beating the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout on Thursday for their fifth win in six home games. They face a Nashville team two points behind them in the Western Conference standings.

"It was nice to get the win in the first game back, but it's one game. We go to Nashville [Saturday], so … it's going to be another big one," said goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who made 34 saves.

Winnipeg has climbed back into the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, going 10-3-1 since Paul Maurice was named coach in January. He expects another close game Saturday.

"That's the way our games are going to look now," Maurice said. "If you can get two points on teams that are scratching and clawing at this point … absolutely."

Predators: Nashville came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Thursday. The Predators allowed seven shots after the first period and scored three power-play goals in the win.

"Power plays go just like anything else … sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. But if you're getting chances, you'll get a chance to score," coach Barry Trotz said.

Nashville went 3-for-4 with the man advantage; the three goals equaled its power play output in its past nine games combined.

"We got 22 playoff games to go to see if we can make the playoffs," Trotz said. "We're gonna be happy for another 45 minutes and then we have to think about the Winnipeg Jets."

Who's hot: Jets forward Blake Wheeler has seven goals and nine assists in his past 14 games. ... Predators forward Patric Hornqvist has points in five of six games.

Injury report: Jets forward Matt Halischuk (forearm) and defenseman Grant Clitsome (back) are on injured reserve. … The Predators are without goalie Pekka Rinne (hip), who began a conditioning stint with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League on Friday.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 01 '14WPG 3 at NSH 1A. Ladd
Jan 28 '14NSH 4 at WPG 3M. Fisher
Nov 08 '13NSH 0 at WPG 5B. Little
Oct 24 '13WPG 2 at NSH 3 - OTC. Smith
Oct 20 '13NSH 3 at WPG 1P. Hornqvist
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
B. Wheeler62232750+34263
B. Little62192948+64461
D. Byfuglien62133144-166451
A. Ladd62152843+75332
M. Scheifele62132134+101412
O. Jokinen62141933-93621
M. Frolik61121931+41212
E. Kane44151530+25214
D. Setoguchi61111526+11623
J. Trouba4571623+112701
T. Enstrom6261319-64410
G. Clitsome3221012-51800
C. Thorburn522911+06001
Z. Bogosian463710+74200
M. Stuart49279+87600
M. Halischuk30347-1401
K. Ellerby38235+4211
A. Pardy40055+33000
E. Tangradi40134-81100
A. Peluso36213-54800
E. O'Dell14213+1801
J. Wright59022-31500
J. Albert8101-3000
J. Slater10011-2200
P. Postma9000+0600
P. Cormier3000+0700
Z. Redmond3000-2000
J. Melchiori1000-1000
B. Chiarot1000-3000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
O. Pavelec4720-22-413313882.90.904
A. Montoya1810-4-2374952.18.925
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Weber58152540-123293
D. Legwand61103040-72642
C. Smith58181937+61853
M. Fisher54161632-134842
P. Hornqvist56112031-112064
R. Josi5191726-111431
C. Wilson6071724-11222
M. Cullen5661723-32611
N. Spaling52101222+21021
S. Jones6151621-222021
G. Bourque5451217-7801
R. Ellis5931417+51601
E. Nystrom5811516-224901
V. Stalberg507916-122801
P. Gaustad618614-64200
M. Del Zotto5221113-51010
M. Ekholm41145-12600
F. Forsberg12145-8210
V. Bartley38055-21400
M. Hendricks44224-55400
R. Clune39213-612201
K. Klein47123-112100
S. Moser5112+1000
C. Sissons4011+2200
T. Beck7000-2600
J. Piskula2000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Hutton3214-10-4808212.85.903
D. Dubnyk3411-18-31039453.43.891
M. Mazanec258-10-4646502.80.902
P. Rinne94-4-1192292.31.917
M. Hellberg10-0-0145.00.750