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Game Day: Preds vs. Jets

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(20-18-8) Nashville Predators vs. Winnipeg Jets (21-22-3)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #NSHvsWPG
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.


The Nashville Predators are back in Winnipeg tonight to face the Jets as they begin a four-game road trip through Western Canada. One week ago, the Preds and Jets met in a contest at MTS Centre which saw the Preds rally with three goals in the third period to tie the game 4-4, before ultimately falling in overtime.

Nashville lost 4-1 on Tuesday night to the Chicago Blackhawks; Ryan Ellis scored the lone goal for the Preds. Winnipeg fell 2-1 to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.

Preds defenseman Roman Josi is scheduled to play in his 300th NHL game on Thursday night in Winnipeg, having posted 161 points (48g-113a) in his first 299 games (all with Nashville). Among 2008 NHL Draft blueliners, Josi ranks seventh in points. He is also one point away from surpassing Dan Hamhuis for sole possession of the fifth spot on the franchise points list by defensemen.

Entering Wednesday's action, Josi was fourth in the NHL with 119 blocked shots. He was also tied for sixth among NHL defensemen in goals (10) and points (10g-22a-32pts).

Josi tops the Preds in scoring, and his defensive partner, Shea Weber, is tied for second on the club with 29 points, including 11 goals. Filip Forsberg also has 29 points on the season and has found the back of the net 13 times. James Neal's 16 goals pace the team in the category and Mike Ribeiro's 23 assists rank first among his teammates. Center Ryan Johansen has two goals and seven points in six games since joining the Preds. Pekka Rinne owns a 16-15-7 record on the season, Carter Hutton is 4-2-1 between the pipes.

Neal has 22 career points versus the Jets, tied for his most against any team, while Johansen has 10 points in eight career games against Winnipeg (4g-6a).

Blake Wheeler leads the Jets in points in 44, followed by Bryan Little with 38 and Mathieu Perreault with 30. Little's 15 goals lead the team, while Drew Stafford's 14 tallies are second on the club; however, Stafford is currently on Injured Reserve. Wheeler has 13 goals on the the season and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has 11 markers from the blue line. Connor Hellebuyck, who was in net last week when the Jets beat the Preds, is 11-7-1.

Nashville has posted a 1-1-1 record against the Jets in the previous three games this season, winning 7-0 on Nov. 14, losing 4-1 on Jan. 5, and losing in overtime on Jan. 14. Neal leads the Preds in scoring in the season series, having posted four points (2g-2a) in three games. Craig Smith and Ellis each have three points in the series. Nashville has converted on 27 percent of their power play opportunities (3-of-11) in the season set.


Predators Game Day Video:

What to Watch for: Pete and Chris Breakdown


Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators*:

Forwards
Kevin Fiala Ryan Johansen James Neal
Filip Forsberg Mike Ribeiro Craig Smith
Miikka Salomaki Mike Fisher Calle Jarnkrok
Eric Nystrom Paul Gaustad C. Bass/A. Watson
Defense
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm Ryan Ellis
Anthony Bitetto Barret Jackman

i

Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne is the expected starter in net with Carter Hutton serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Petter Granberg, (F) Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body), (F) Austin Watson, (F) Colin Wilson (IR; lower-body)

*Lines provided by Adam Vingan


Winnipeg Jets:

Forwards
Andrew Ladd Bryan Little Blake Wheeler
Joel Armia Mathieu Perreault Nikolaj Ehlers
Chris Thorburn Alexander Burmistrov Matt Halischuk
JC Lipon Andrew Copp Andrew Peluso
Defense
Jacob Trouba Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom Tyler Myers
Mark Stuart Ben Chiarot

i

Goaltenders: Connor Hellebuyck is the expected starter in net with Michael Hutchinson serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Adam Pardy, (D) Paul Postma, (D) Grant Clitsome, (G) Ondrej Pavelec, (F) Mark Scheifele

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