Craig Smith tallied twice and Colton Sissons recorded a goal and an assist as the Nashville Predators extended their franchise-record point streak to 13 games by defeating the Winnipeg Jets via a 4-2 final on Tuesday night at the MTS Centre. The Preds are now 9-0-4 in their last 13 games, 10-0-2 in the last 12 on the road and have hit the 80-point mark on the season.
“We went down early and the boys are playing so well right now, they just always believe and never give up,” Sissons said. “It doesn't matter what the score is. That’s a good habit to have and no doubt we’re getting a few bounces here to keep the streak alive.”
After Drew Stafford made it 1-0 in the opening frame, it appeared the score would hold headed into the first intermission. But Craig Smith tapped in his 17th goal of the season to extend his point streak to five games to even the score for Nashville.
Then, only 11 seconds later, Colton Sissons, skating in his first game since being recalled on Monday from Milwaukee, backhanded a puck toward the cage and got a friendly bounce off of a Winnipeg skate to give the Preds a 2-1 lead to end the period.
After a scoreless second period that saw Pekka Rinne turn the Jets away seven times, Ryan Johansen tallied in the third frame for his 11th of the season and a two-goal cushion. Sissons registered the secondary assist on the tally, giving him his first career two-point game.
Winnipeg pulled to within one goal before Smith potted his second of the night off a slick pass from Filip Forsberg to give Nashville a 4-2 lead once more and seal the victory.
“I like the things that were doing,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “Not every game is the same, but tonight, I thought we played good road game and got better as the game went on.”
Sissons made his mark in all the right ways on the night in his 20th game of the season for the Preds and the first of his new stint with the big club.
“It feels pretty awesome actually,” Sissons said. “I've been pretty fortunate, the first games after recalls, I've had some pretty good nights and a couple good bounces. I'm just really happy and glad that we got another big win on the road, it's huge this time of year.”
The Preds hope to continue their streak tomorrow night in Calgary, and add to another in the process; Nashville now holds a 12-1-3 record against Canadian teams this season.
Gif of the Game:
Goaltender Carter Hutton thought he was getting the night off, but instead, the netminder is required to make a glove stop to save teammate Petter Granberg.
Peter Laviolette on the six rookies in the Preds lineup on Tuesday:
“It’s something that's earned a little bit, and it's not their first time being here. Even Colton, was just back and he's been a leader and a big part of the minor league team. He’s gotten called up here, and he’s done a really good job for us, a smart two-way player that plays in a lot of situations. [Arvidsson] just keeps getting better and better, so when that happens, you just want them on the ice.”
The 11 seconds between Craig Smith’s and Colton Sissons’ first-period goals is tied for second in club history for the fastest two goals on the road.
The Predators dressed six rookies for Tuesday night’s contest (Petter Granberg, Austin Watson, Colton Sissons, Miikka Salomaki, Viktor Arvidsson and Anthony Bitetto).
Nashville’s road trip continues tomorrow night in Calgary, before making stops in Vancouver on Saturday and Edmonton on Monday.
The new No. 10 for the Preds wins top honors after notching his first-career, multi-point game.
Infographic: Flight Delayed