(8-7-2) Winnipeg Jets vs. Nashville Predators (9-3-3)
6 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #WPGvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 5:30 P.M.
The Nashville Predators continue their current stretch in Music City by hosting the Winnipeg Jets on a Golden Saturday. It's the first of five meetings between the two clubs this season and another Central Division rivalry about to be renewed once more.
Nashville fell in a shootout to Toronto on Thursday night by a 2-1 final, while the Jets are coming off of a 6-3 loss to the Dallas Stars.
Preds Captain Shea Weber skated in his 700th NHL game on Tuesday, the first defenseman in franchise history to attain the feat. Weber has scored goals in two consecutive games.
Nashville's blue line is among the League leaders when it comes to producing offense. The Preds defense corps is first in the NHL in goals scored with 14 and third in points with 41. Roman Josi leads Nashville's blueliners with 11 points (4g-7a).
Goaltender Pekka Rinne enters Saturday’s game against the Jets with an all-time record of 7-1-0 against the franchise (including Atlanta), with a .928 save percentage and a 2.04 goals-against average in nine appearances.
Nashville has played in nine one-goal games this season, earning points in eight of those contests (5-1-3 record). The Preds have a 6-0-2 record when holding the opponent to two goals or less, and 6-1-1 when scoring three goals or more.
James Neal leads the Preds in points with 12 (7g-5a), followed by Josi and Filip Forsberg (2g-8a). Josi, Mike Ribeiro and Seth Jones each have seven helpers on the campaign, while Weber has potted five goals. Through the first 15 games of the season, 20 different Preds have registered at least one point. Eleven different players have multiple goals.
Blake Wheeler leads the Jets in scoring, and is also among the League leaders, with 20 points (8g-12a). Bryan Little also has eight goals to his name, along with 17 points, while Mark Scheifele and Drew Stafford have five goals apiece. Wheeler, Little and Andrew Ladd have combined for 10 points over their last two games. Ondrej Pavelec has started 11 games for the Jets, going 4-6-1 with a 2.81 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.
Nashville posted a 3-2-0 record against the Jets last season, winning two of their three home games against them. The Preds have points in eight of their last 12 games against the Jets franchise (8-4-0), and have an overall of 15-8-4 against them.
Predators Game Day Video:Preds Players: Roman Josi, Austin Watson and James Neal
What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown
Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette
The Predators did not hold a morning skate on Saturday morning. The below lineup is based on the lines shown in Friday's practice.
| ||Forwards || |
|Colin Wilson ||Mike Fisher ||James Neal |
|Filip Forsberg ||Mike Ribeiro ||Craig Smith |
|Miikka Salomaki ||Calle Jarnkrok ||Cody Hodgson |
|Gabriel Bourque ||Colton Sissons ||Austin Watson |
| ||Defense || |
|Roman Josi ||Shea Weber |
|Barret Jackman ||Seth Jones |
|Mattias Ekholm ||Ryan Ellis |
Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne is the expected starter in net with Marek Mazanec serving as the backup.
Extra: (D) Victor Bartley, (D) Anthony Bitetto, (F) Paul Gaustad, Carter Hutton (IR), Eric Nystrom (IR)
| ||Forwards || |
|Andrew Ladd ||Bryan Little ||Blake Wheeler |
|Mathieu Perreault ||Mark Scheifele ||Nikolaj Ehlers |
|Chris Thorburn ||Adam Lowry ||Drew Stafford |
|Alexander Burmistrov ||Andrew Copp ||Nic Petan |
| ||Defense || |
|Toby Enstrom ||Dustin Byfuglien |
|Ben Chiarot ||Tyler Myers |
|Mark Stuart ||Jacob Trouba |
Goaltenders: Michael Hutchinson is expected to start in net with Ondrej Pavelec serving as the backup.
Extra: (F) Anthony Peluso, (D) Adam Pardy, (D) Paul Postma