(28-18-10) Winnipeg Jets vs. Nashville Predators (36-12-6)
7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena
TV: None | Radio: 102.5 The Game Tickets
The Nashville Predators continue their current, four-game home stand tonight as they host the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena. It's the fourth of five meetings between the two clubs this year, and the second of three in Nashville.
The Preds are coming off of a 3-2 overtime victory on Tuesday night against Tampa Bay, a game in which the Lightning scored two goals in the third period after falling behind 2-0. James Neal eventually secured the extra point for Nashville with his goal at 4:27 of the overtime session, his 18th tally of the season and a mark that ties him with Filip Forsberg for the team lead in goals.
Pekka Rinne stopped all four shots he faced in the extra session on Tuesday to become one of just three goaltenders who have played in nine or more overtime frames this season to maintain a perfect save percentage and a goals-against average of 0.00 in the maximum five-minute period. Rinne maintained his spot atop the League in wins (31) on the season and improved his record in his last 14 games to 12-1-1.
Seth Jones, who played a season-high 25:35 against Tampa Bay, tallied a goal in his second-straight game for the first time in his career. Currently in the midst of a career-high five-game point streak, Jones has 10 points in his last 12 games. On the season, Nashville is 5-0-1 when the blueliner scores a goal.
Fellow defenseman Roman Josi recorded his 28th assist of the season on Neal's game-winning goal on Tuesday, putting him third among Preds skaters in helpers this season. Josi has recorded seven points in his last six games and leads Nashville defensemen in points with 38. He is just two points from tying his career-high point total of 40, set last season.
The Jets will be entering Smashville with a different roster than they had 48 hours ago, as the club acquired forward Drew Stafford and defenseman Tyler Myers, among other players, in exchange for Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and a prospect. Stafford and Myers are likely to join the Winnipeg lineup this evening against the Preds.
Winnipeg Captain Andrew Ladd leads the club in points with 45 on the season, while Bryan Little is just one point behind Ladd, including a team-leading 21 goals. Dustin Byfuglien, who has 37 points and has been at forward much of the season, will be moving back to the blue line tonight against the Preds, according to Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice.
Ondrej Pavelec has started more games in net for the Jets than rookie Michael Hutchinson, but it's been Hutchinson of late that has been registering wins, holding a 15-7-3 record to go along with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
The Jets are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games but have won two straight and are 14-8-6 on the road this season. Nashville is a League-best 22-3-1 at home this season and are winners of three straight.
Predators Game Day Video:Preds Players: Filip Forsberg, James Neal and Seth Jones
What to Watch for: Brent and Willy's Breakdown
Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette
Morning Skate Update:
Forward Colin Wilson joined the Preds once again for their morning skate at Bridgestone Arena prior to tonight's contest against Winnipeg. Wilson skated in his usual spot on the second line during forward line rushes alongside Mike Fisher and James Neal. Wilson has missed the last two games and is considered day-to-day.
Defenseman Mattias Ekholm joined the team on the ice for the first time since exiting Sunday's game at Florida. Ekholm is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Captain Shea Weber was absent from the morning skate; the defenseman was given a maintenance day.
Nashville Morning Skate Lines:
Forsberg - Ribeiro - Smith
Wilson (day-to-day) - Fisher - Neal
Cullen - Jarnkrok - Bourque
Nystrom - Gaustad - Beck
Extras: Jokinen, Stalberg
Josi - Ekholm (day-to-day)
Volchenkov - Jones
Bitetto - Bartley
Winnipeg Morning Skate Lines: (via @TSN1290Radio)
Ladd - Little - Wheeler
Perreault - Scheifele - Stafford
Frolik - Lowry - Thorburn
Galiardi - Slater - Peluso
Enstrom - Myers
Chiarot - Byfuglien
Stuart - Trouba