Nashville, TN – The Nashville Predators had nothing for the Winnipeg Jets tonight in a battle of Central Division rivals as the visitors pounded Nashville, 5-1.
From start to finish, the Jets outskated and outplayed the home team and proved why at this point in the season, they sit atop the division.
Brendan Lemieux pulled the wool over the eyes of the Nashville defense at 10:09 of the first period, when he faked a shot on the offensive rush, then slipped the wrap around shot past Pekka Rinne for the early 1-0 lead.Then at 3:36 of the second period, Mason Appleton rushed the net and tipped a centering pass from Joe Morrow into the net and the Jets were leading by a pair.
Viktor Arvidsson, coming off of his “hat-trick” performance on Tuesday night, scored the lone goal for the Predators at 11:57 of the second period. “Arvi” slipped behind the Jets defense and was unmarked for the easy tap in goal off of a rebound in net and suddenly the Predators were within a goal, 2-1.
But just as the second period was coming to an end at 19:14, Bryan Little put home a rebound of his own that beat Rinne and now the Jets had their two goal lead back, 3-1.
Nashville just couldn’t get the puck past Connor Hellebuyck in net for Winnipeg as he has been a thorn in the side of the Predators since last season. Time and time again the Predators had opportunities that went by the wayside at the hands of Hellebuyck.
The final two goals of the night went to the Jets as Brandon Tanev tipped in a goal at 1:34 of the final frame for the 4-1 lead, then Brendan Lemieux put the Winnipeg boot in the throat of Nashville for the final score, 5-1.
Nashville put 38 shots on goal while Winnipeg fired 34.
Nashville has another chance to rebound from tonight’s performance when the Florida Panthers arrive in Smashville for a Saturday night matchup at the Bridgestone Arena. Puck drops at 7pm.