Nashville Predators 4, Winnipeg Jets 2: Smith Scores Two, Preds Continue Streak

The Preds are still playing well and the Jets are still lousy. 13 game point streak!

The Nashville Predators beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 tonight, helped by a two-goal effort from Craig Smith. The Jets, who are not very good, were actually in this game for about 20 minutes, but the Preds found their game and came away winners.

After a rather slow start, where the Jets would go up 1-0 on a goal by Drew Stafford, the Preds would net two late goals in the final minute of the 1st period to continue their recent scoring surge. Craig Smith and then Colton Sissons would put the Preds on top going into the 2nd period. In the 2nd, the Preds would hold on to their lead due to some solid goaltending from Pekka Rinne. After Austin Watson received a match penalty for a head shot on Marko Dano, the Preds killed off a 5 minute major and maintained momentum in the game. Rinne made several key saves to hold the one goal lead.

In the final period, the Preds would maintain the pressure in the Jets zone, drawing a couple penalties and eventually taking a 3-1 lead on a power-play goal by Ryan Johansen. It was Joey's first goal in over a month, last scoring in the early February game against the Flyers. The Jets would get within 1 on a goal by Jacob Trouba , but Craig Smith would add a late goal to make it 4-2. The Predators would hold on to win 4-2.

The streak is now at 13 straight games with at least 1 point. The Preds are 9-0-4 in that stretch. Heyooo!

Random Observations

  • An unimpressive start by the Predators leads to a 1-0 lead by the Jets. Drew Stafford gets the Jets on the board, corralling a rebound that Rinne couldn't handle and putting it home. The Preds don't look in sync right now and the Jets made them pay.
  • The Preds can't seem to get out of their own way. It almost looks like they are wanting to play a really physical game and bait the Jets into taking penalties, ignoring the puck. But the Jets are playing with some surprising skill and dominating the puck early.
  • Wow. Crazy turn of events in the 1st. Craig Smith puts the Preds on the board, finishing a fantastic breakout play on the counter attack. Then Colton Sissons gets a bit lucky with a bank shot off of a Jets' defender and the Preds lead it 2-1. The Jets dominated the first 19 minutes, but the Preds find the net twice in the final minute.
  • Even though he gave up a rebound that led to a goal early, Rinne has come to play in this one. He has denied some Grade A chances multiple times in this game so far. The Preds are being out-shot 14-10 halfway through this game and only lead it because of a lucky bounce... Rinne is keeping them in the game.
  • Austin Watson given a match penalty for what was deemed a head shot on Marko Dano. I mean, I guess. It was probably a penalty on Watson, but worthy of an ejection? I just don't see it.
  • Preds kill off the 5 minute penalty following the Watson hit. Amazing. Where was this penalty kill two months ago?
  • The Preds penalty-kill has looked just as likely to score as the Preds power-play tonight. It's been a weird night.
  • RyJo with the insurance marker. Huge late goal, on the power-play. It took him a couple whacks at the puck, but he put it home. 3-1 Preds!
  • Some intense action here in the 3rd as both teams have opened things up. After Matty Eck had a huge chance on a 3-on-1, Ondrej Pavelec denies him a goal with a big blocker save. Then the Jets take it the other way on a breakout and Jacob Trouba pounces on a rebound in the blue ice, making it a 3-2 game. Lavy would challenge, thinking the Jets had interfered with Rinne, but the call stood. 6 minutes left in this one.
  • SMITTY. With his 2nd goal of the night. What a few weeks he has had. Since the infamous "self-block" against Montreal, Smith has 11 points (5g, 6a) in 7 games.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Craig Smith: 2 goals on the night. His line continues to be red-hot. How crazy will Crazy Legs get?
  • Viktor Arvidsson: Only 1 assist, but he had 8 freaking shots. This kid is a puck-shooting machine.
  • Pekka Rinne: shaky rebound early, but held on for 21 saves in this one. Really kept the Preds in the game when it was still close.
  • The Penalty-Kill: 4 of 4, including a huge 5 minute major. That unit has come a long way this season.

Tweets of the Night

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