Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada -The Nashville Predators blew a two goal lead to fall to their Central Division rivals, the Winnipeg Jets, 5-3. With the loss, Nashville relinquishes first place in the division.
Penalties and lack of a power play cost the Predators once again tonight as the Jets took full advantage of their man advantage.
Nashville struck first at 15:21 of the opening period when Viktor Arvidsson took a feed in the circle and ripped a wicked wrister past goalie Laurent Brossoit for the early 1-0 lead.Into the second period, P.K Subban fired a laser at 12:12, taking a pass from Ryan Johansen and Brossoit never saw it coming and Nashville had a 2-0 lead.
But the penalties are costing the Predators as Winnipeg started to take advantage.
At 15:48 of the second period, Mark Scheifele lifted a backhander from in front of the net past Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne and the power play goal brought the Jets to within a goal, 2-1.
Then at 18:21 of the second, Kyle Connor took a mishandled puck in front of the net to beat Rinne, and the contest was tied, 2-2. The teams went to the second intermission with the game tied, setting up a fight to the finish in the third.
At 14:09 of the final frame, Blake Wheeler collected a pass from Mark Scheifele and the wrister beat Rinne for the Winnipeg lead, 3-2. Then at 18:14, Tyler Myers scored the empty netter and Winnipeg took a commanding two goal lead, 4-2.
Nashville still had a chance though at 19:00 of the final frame when Mattias Ekholm scored on a slap shot in front of the net to bring the Predators to within a goal, 4-3.
But it was not to be as Kevin Hayes fired the puck into the Nashville empty net with 32 seconds left in the game, for the final score, 5-3.
Nashville will hit the road to Minnesota for a Sunday night match-up with the Wild and former Predator, Kevin Fiala. The Predators will then return home on Tuesday night to host the Wild at the Bridgestone Arena. Puck drops at 7:00pm.