(9-6-2) Winnipeg Jets vs. Nashville Predators (10-4-2)
6 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The GameTickets
For the third time already in 2014-15, the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets will get together for a Central Division skirmish. Tonight's contest will be the first of those meetings to take place in Nashville, with the two foes splitting decisions in Winnipeg earlier in the campaign.
The Predators saw their three-game win streak come to an end on Thursday night in St. Louis, but it wasn't without another admirable performance from their star rookie. Filip Forsberg tallied a goal and two assists in the 4-3 loss, pushing his point total to 20 on the season. The Swede now carries a six-game goal streak and a seven-game point streak to his name, as well as leading the Preds and all NHL rookies in points. Forsberg now holds the Predators franchise record for a rookie point streak, surpassing Alexander Radulov's six-game streak in 2006-07.
Forsberg's linemates, center Mike Ribeiro and winger James Neal, make up the NHL's top scoring trio, potting 15 goals as a line thus far, more than any other line in the League. Neal leads the club in shots on goal with 58 and Ribeiro sees more ice time than any other Preds forward, averaging 19:02 per fame.
While Nashville currently sits second in the division, tonight's opponent isn't far behind. Winnipeg is 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and currently place third in the Central. The Jets own the most road wins of any team in the Central Division with six.
Winnipeg Captain Andrew Ladd has knotched eight points (5g-3a) over the last 10 games, while Blake Wheeler (4g-3a) and Bryan Little (1g-5a) have also found the scoresheet with regularity. Ondrej Pavelec has started eight of the last 10 games, posting a 5-1-2 record during that stretch.
Nashville has earned at least one point in 12 of 16 games against the team formerly known as the Thrashers since 2005-06, going 10-4-2 in that span. At home, the Preds are 7-3-0 against Winnipeg/Atlanta since the 1999-00 season. Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette is in search of career coaching victory No. 400 this evening.
Tonight's contest brings about a 6 p.m. start time, along with the Predators hosting their Hockey Fights Cancer night. Details on the evening's festivities can be found here
What to Watch for: Brent and Willy's Breakdown:
Nashville Morning Skate Lines:
The Predators did not hold a morning skate. Line combinations from yesterday's practice can be found here
Winnipeg Morning Skate Lines:
Kane - Scheifele - Wheeler
Ladd - Little - Frolik
Perreault - Lowry - Byfuglien
Thorburn - Slater - HalischukDefensemen:
Bogosian - Enstrom
Stuart - Trouba
Clitsome - PostmaGoaltenders:
Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice on the changes he's seen from the Predators:
“It’s interesting watching Nashville from afar and playing them a few times last year, I’ve always thought they were an aggressive forechecking team. They’ve certainly got the reputation of being a good defensive team, and they should because their backend goaltending is exceptional. But you add a player like Neal, and you’re also adding a guy like Forsberg, it really changes the dynamic of what they can do offensively and they have the benefit of years of great defensive schooling. They’re a little bit different team in terms of skill level, just with those two guys alone, but the foundation of their game - with a few exceptions - is still true to what’s brought them success in the past. I’ve always seen their D pinching in the offensive zone and we’ve always had tough battles with them.” Jets forward Mark Schiefele on defending the Preds top line:
“When you know they’ve got a guy like Neal on that line, you know you have to watch out for his shot. He can get it off from every angle. That line is big, strong and they move the puck well. I think it’ll be important to play good defense and not stray from our game plan at all.” Jets forward Matthieu Perreault on combatting the Preds attack:
“Yeah I can see a few difference this year. With the new players there’s a different look, but I think the main thing is what we do on the ice tonight, not them. If we continue to play with the pace we have lately then we should be fine.”