(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators take aim at their longest
winning streak of the season when they visit the struggling Winnipeg Jets in
Friday's battle at MTS Centre.
The Predators have posted recent wins against Los Angeles and Colorado, giving
the club its third two-game winning streak of the season. Nashville last won
three in a row from March 21-25 of last season, but the club posted a 2-10-3
record to close the season after that three-game win streak and wound up
missing the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Friday's contest already marks the third of five meetings this season between
the Preds and Jets, who now are both in the Central Division due to
realignment. Nashville is 2-0 against the Jets so far this season, posting a
3-1 win at Winnipeg on Oct. 20 before notching a 3-2 overtime win in the Music
City on Oct. 24.
All told, Nashville has taken four straight, six of seven and eight of the
past 10 encounters in this series. The road win on Oct. 20 also marked the
Preds' first-ever trip to Winnipeg, as the Jets were previously known as the
Atlanta Thrashers before relocating to Manitoba prior to the 2011-12 campaign.
Nashville has won three of the past four road tilts against the
The Predators last played on Wednesday, when they downed Colorado by a 6-4
score to deal the Avalanche just their second loss of the season.
Nashville used a two-goal, two-assist effort by Colin Wilson to post the win
in Denver. Though Matt Duchene -- who recorded the 13th three-point game of
his career -- tied the game early in the third for Colorado, Wilson's second
goal of the contest put the visitors ahead to stay and Gabriel Bourque added a
late tally to seal the victory.
Paul Gaustad, Craig Smith and Viktor Stalberg also lit the lamp for the
Predators, who improved to 2-0-1 on their seven-game road trip. Carter Hutton
also upped his record to 4-1-1 this season after a 27-save performance.
"It was a big win here," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "This is an
extremely good team with some dangerous guys and we were able to keep them at
bay. They got some good looks, but not enough. Our forwards were really good
tonight. They got challenged a little bit and they responded."
Hutton, who has done an admirable job filling in for injured No. 1 goaltender
Pekka Rinne, is in line for his sixth consecutive start. He started the
previous two games against the Jets this season and won both outings after
allowing only three total goals on 75 shots faced over the two games.
Nashville forward Mike Fisher missed Wednesday's game in Colorado with a
lower-body injury and is questionable for tonight. Fellow forward Matt
Hendricks is also questionable after missing the last two games with an upper-
The Jets, meanwhile, played their last game without Evander Kane and the
forward is questionable for Friday's tilt with a lower-body injury.
Without Kane on Wednesday, the Jets were handed a 4-1 loss in Chicago. It was
the fourth loss in five games for Winnipeg, which is 4-9-2 since opening the
season with consecutive wins.
Devin Setoguchi scored the lone goal on Wednesday for the Jets, while Al
Montoya turned aside 24-of-28 shots for the loss.
"You have to manage the puck well," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "You want to
start shooting yourself in the foot, it's in your net. We've given up nine
goals in two games [against the Blackhawks]. Do we need to give up another
four or five the next time to recognize this is what they can do? I understand
we're not perfect, but those things hurt you. Your puck management has to be
Montoya has started the last two games, but Ondrej Pavelec could get the call
on Friday. Pavelec is 1-2-1 with a 2.54 goals against average in five career
outings against Nashville, while Montoya has never seen action against the
Winnipeg, which will host San Jose on Sunday, is 4-5-1 as the host this
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