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At the Rink: Jets at Predators

by Robby Stanley

NASHVILLE -- The Winnipeg Jets will try to end a four-game losing streak (0-3-1) when they play the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CITY, FS-TN).

Of the Jets' four-game skid, the past three losses have been in regulation and the past two have been against Central Division opponents.

Winnipeg (8-7-2) will rely on its top line to end the losing streak. Forwards Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler have formed one of the most productive lines in the NHL this season. Wheeler is fourth in the League with 20 points and Little is tied for sixth with 17 points. One other team has two players in the top 10 in League scoring, the Dallas Stars with three (Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and John Klingberg).

"For the three of us I think just playing the right way," Ladd said. "That's how we get out of this. I think you get off track when we try to think we can do more and that's not it. We need to play within the system, play hard, do all the little things and things will start to turn."

Nashville hasn't lost two consecutive games in regulation this season but is 2-2-2 in its past six.

The Predators (9-3-3) played a tight-checking game in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. They expect a similar type of game against the Jets based on the games they played last season.

"It'll definitely be a tight-checking game," Predators defenseman Roman Josi said. "Playing them last year, they were always tight games and physical games. It's going to be a hard-fought game."

Here are the projected lineups:


Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault - Mark Scheifele - Nikolaj Ehlers

Chris Thorburn - Adam Lowry - Drew Stafford

Nic Petan - Andrew Copp - Alexander Burmistrov

Ben Chiarot - Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom - Tyler Myers

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Michael Hutchinson

Ondrej Pavelec

Injured: Grant Clitsome (back)

Scratched: Paul Postma, Adam Pardy, Anthony Peluso


Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - James Neal

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Craig Smith

Miikka Salomaki - Calle Jarnkrok - Cody Hodgson

Gabriel Bourque - Colton Sissons - Austin Watson

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis

Barret Jackman - Seth Jones

Pekka Rinne

Marek Mazanec

Injured: Eric Nystrom (upper body), Paul Gaustad (lower body), Carter Hutton (upper body)

Scratched: Victor Bartley, Anthony Bitetto

Status report: Jets coach Paul Maurice confirmed that Hutchinson will get the start. … The Jets changed their defense pairings midway through their 6-3 loss to the Stars on Thursday and will keep those pairings against the Predators. … The Predators did not hold a morning skate. … Nystrom returned to practice Friday but it's unclear if he will play.

Who's hot: Wheeler has six points in his past five games. … Weber has goals in two straight games and three in his past five.

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