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GAMEDAY: Jets at Predators

7:00 pm CT - TV: TSN 3; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

NASHVILLE - There's just something about Nashville for Mathieu Perreault.

The 31-year-old will play his 600th career NHL game tonight when the Winnipeg Jets face-off with the Predators in the same building that he played his 500th game.

"It's exciting. It's always fun to reach milestones," said Perreault.

"It's hard to believe it's been that long, really. It feels like yesterday when I first started."

Video: PREGAME | Matheiu Perreault

Over his career, Perreault has amassed 128 goals and 316 points, but it's the forward's versatility and willingness to do whatever it takes to help his team that stands out most to head coach Paul Maurice.

"He's evolved as a player over those 600 games. He came in as a skilled - not a perimeter centre, but a playmaking and nifty player. He's able to play all styles of game," said Maurice. "He's with our checking group right now on his off side and looks good doing it. They've been good together and he's scoring some goals.

"He's really developed into an all-around player that's a utility guy and on the power play. Other than penalty killing, he does it all right now."

Perreault will be on the wing with Adam Lowry and Andrew Copp once again tonight, as the Jets (12-8-1) will ice the same line-up as the one that produced the 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

That line-up is expected to look like this (with Connor Hellebuyck getting the start in goal):

Connor-Scheifele-Laine

Ehlers-Wheeler-Roslovic

Copp-Lowry-Perreault

Luoto-Gustafsson-Shaw

Morrissey-Poolman

Kulikov-Pionk

Beaulieu-Sbisa

The Jets are 3-1-0 against divisional opponents this season, but this will be the first meeting with Nashville this season.

"They have a little more meaning. At the end of the year, the points are big, especially against your division. So I think everyone in the room knows to come and be ready," said Poolman, who has four assists in his last five games.

"That's been nice. I haven't been putting any emphasis on anything in particular. I'm just trying to play a simple, smart game. It just so happens that some of those pucks are going in at the end of some of those assists."

Video: PREGAME | Tucker Poolman

As for the Predators (9-7-3), they're coming off a tough 7-2 loss on home ice to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

"That score didn't indicate the opportunities," Maurice said. "I view these guys kind of like Tampa Bay. They generate an awful lot of offence during the game. It's not going for them right now, but you're mindful that they're two or three inches away from putting a bunch of pucks in early in that game and changing the tide."

While Winnipeg's Central Division rival is 4-4-2 in their last 10 games, Maurice said anytime the puck drops between these two teams, anything is possible.

"Nashville and Winnipeg games have their own uniqueness to them," Maurice said. "We've seen some wild nights in here. Never for a lack of entertainment. We've had 10 guys in the penalty box, we've had eight straight penalties, we've had big wins in here, big losses. So you need to be ready to go for sure."

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice

Perreault remembers those games well. One of his favourite memories over the course of his 599 regular season games and 39 postseason games is Winnipeg's Game 7 win over Nashville in this very building back in 2018.

"That's for sure one of the highlights of my career," said Perreault, who also mentioned his four-goal game against the Florida Panthers on Jan. 13, 2015 as another highlight.

But one thing is for sure, he's had to work for every single milestone and every single shift since he was drafted in 2006.

"I got healthy scratched a lot early in my career and I just stuck with it, worked as hard as I could," said Perreault. "The hard work paid off. Once I got to Winnipeg was when I stopped being a healthy scratch. But I had to battle for four or five years to just stick in the league."

-- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com

Game Notes

The Winnipeg Jets play the third game of a four-game road trip tonight when they face the Nashville Predators...The Jets are 2-0-0 on the trip after wins against the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning last week...Winnipeg concludes the road trip Thursday against the Dallas Stars.

Last Game

Nov. 16 at TBL - 4-3 W

Jets Scorers: Perreault (5), Roslovic (4), Ehlers (9), Connor (7)

Lightning Scorers: Hedman (4), Stamkos (7), Cirelli (2)

Jets Goaltender: Connor Hellebuyck (31 sv, 3 ga)

Lightning Goaltender: Andrei Vasilevskiy (23 sv, 3 ga)

Jets PP: 1-for-4
Jets PK: 2-for-2

Recap: The Jets had four different players find the back of the net in a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday afternoon...Connor had a goal and an assist for the Jets, while Blake Wheeler and Josh Morrissey each had two assists...Adam Lowry led the Jets with four hits...Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves to earn the victory.

Three Stars: 1. Ehlers 2. Stamkos 3. Hedman

READ THE GAME NOTES

On the Road Again

The Jets are 7-3-0 on the road and have won four consecutive road games...Winnipeg won five consecutive road games last season from Nov, 24-Dec. 14...The Jets are in the midst of playing eight of 10 games on the road...The eight games are being played across three time zones and on both coasts...Including the Heritage Classic in October, the Jets have five four-game road trips this season...Nikolaj Ehlers leads the Jets in scoring on the road with 13 points (7G, 6A) in nine games, while Patrik Laine has 10 points (1G, 9A) in eight games.

Close Games

Saturday was Winnipeg's NHL-leading ninth victory by one-goal this season...Seven of Winnipeg's past eight wins have been by one goal...At 9-1-1, 11 of the Jets 21 games this season have been decided by one goal...All but three of Winnipeg's 21 games this season have been decided by two goals or less.

Low Scoring Ws

The Jets are 24th in the NHL with an average of 2.71 goals per game this season...Winnipeg is one of six teams in the NHL this season that haven't scored six goals in a game...The Jets have held their opposition to three goals or less in 14 of their 21 games this season (11-2-1).

Central Rivals

Tonight marks Winnipeg's fifth game of the season against a Central Division foe...The Jets are 3-1-0 against divisional opponents this season...Eight of Winnipeg's next nine games are against Western Conference teams, including four against the Central Division...The Jets are 8-4-0 against the Western Conference this season.

Milestone Nights

Kyle Connor is slated to play in his 200th career NHL game tomorrow, which would make him the 15th player from the 2015 NHL Draft to reach 200 games played...Connor is seventh in scoring in his draft class with 144 points (74G, 70A)...Mathieu Perreault is slated to skate in his 600th career NHL game tomorrow...Drafted 177th overall in the sixth round of the 2006 draft, Perreault will join Cal Clutterbuck (805) to become only the second player chosen after the second round of that draft to reach 600 games.

Back-2-Back

Five players have points in both games of the road trip so far, led by Josh Morrissey and Kyle Connor each having a goal and two assists...Nikolaj Ehlers is the only Jets player that has scored in each game.

PP Leader

Josh Morrissey assisted Nikolaj Ehlers' power play goal on Saturday and leads the Jets in power play points with seven (1G, 6A) in 19 games...Morrissey is three points away from matching the career high 10 power play points (3G, 7A) he had last season...He's averaging a career high 3:10 of power play ice time per game this season.

How the Jets Were Built

Drafted (14) - Appleton, Connor, Copp, Ehlers, Gustafsson, Hellebuyck, Laine, Little, Lowry, Morrissey, Poolman, Scheifele, Spacek, Roslovic

Trade (3) - Beaulieu, Pionk, Wheeler

Free Agency (8) - Bitetto, Bourque, Brossoit, Kulikov, Letestu, Luoto, Perreault, Shaw

Waivers (2) - Dahlstrom, Sbisa

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