Nashville had chances throughout the contest, including 17 shots in the opening frame against a Jets team that gained two more points on the Preds in the Central Division with the victory.
“We know we need to score more to win some of these games, and it’s not for lack of effort,” forward Mike Fisher said. “We were hitting posts, and we’re just not finding ways to score. I thought we played hard tonight, we played a fairly solid game and we just have to find a way to win those games. We haven’t been winning those types of games where we seem to be at least playing well.”
Winnipeg took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a power-play goal by Drew Stafford. The play was challenged by Head Coach Peter Laviolette and the Preds for a potential offside infraction, but the call on the ice stood for Stafford’s 13th of the season.
The scoresheet read similarly at the end of two, as Stafford tallied again on the power play for his second of the night, redirecting a Toby Enstrom point shot past Pekka Rinne for a two-goal advantage in favor of the Jets.
Ben Chiarot made it 3-0 for the Jets, before Colin Wilson got the Preds on the board with less than seven minutes to play in the final frame. Winnipeg added an empty netter with 30 seconds remaining, and Hellebuyck turned every other Nashville shot away to earn the victory.
“Everybody has to do a better job,” defenseman Roman Josi said. “We have to get to the net more. We have to get some dirty goals. We have to get some pucks through from the point. Everyone has to do a better job. And obviously, there are a lot of things we have to do better.”
The Preds are right back on the road beginning Friday at Colorado, starting a stretch that will see them play a divisional opponent in seven of the next eight outings.
“We have to be better inside our division, but that being said, we’re still in a spot; we can control where we’re going here, but we have to get on a roll here and start playing well,” Fisher said. “There’s no bigger game than Friday.”
Gif of the Game:
Colin Wilson and Roman Josi work a give-and-go passing play for the Predators lone goal against the Jets.
Peter Laviolette on Colin Wilson:
“He played really well; I mean he played terrific. He had lots of opportunities, and it was nice to see him cash in. Again, probably gets frustrating when you get opportunities and they don’t go, so it was nice to see him get one tonight.”
With a goal tonight, Colin Wilson is seven points away from 200 for his NHL career.
With the loss, Pekka Rinne fell to 8-2-0 all-time versus the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise.
Nashville will head out on a four-game road trip, beginning Friday at Colorado. The Preds will then head to Arizona to face the Coyotes on Saturday night. It’s then off to Chicago and Winnipeg next week before returning home Jan. 16.
The Stat of the Game features Roman Josi’s incredible production for the Predators on both sides of the puck during the 2015-16 season.
Infographic: Jets Fly By Preds