Ryan Johansen continued to light up the Jets with a goal and an assist, while Filip Forsberg also picked up two points as he continues to be one of the best players in the league.
The Jets were given an early power play when Cody McLeod caught Marko Dano up high and ran him into the boards. Solid, smart passing on the power play got the puck to Blake Wheeler at the point. With Dustin Byfuglien and Adam Lowry causing havoc in front of the net, Wheeler put it past Pekka Rinne and the Jets grabbed an early 1-0 lead.
The Bryan Little line was able to get the Jets up by two, with some solid work by Nikolaj Ehlers. He held the puck and waited until Byfuglien came down from the point. Then a Byfuglien one-timer forced its way past Rinne.
The Predators immediately responded with a goal of their own. Austin Watson ended up with a good screen in front from defenceman Anthony Bitetto, where he dragged the puck and popped it over top of Connor Hellebuyck’s shoulder.
Julian Melchiori picked up a penalty when his clearing attempt ended up going out of play and he got the call for delay of game. The Jets killed it off without too much damage, but the Predators had a lot of momentum and Hellebuyck kept the one-goal lead intact.
The Predators then finally got another past him. With 10 seconds left, Craig Smith drove it into the zone and pulled both defenders toward him before giving it to Mike Fisher, who put a nifty shot past Hellebuyck. The period ended with a fight between McLeod and Shawn Matthias.
Just 19 seconds into the second period, Melchiori made a bad pinch and it led to a two on one, as Johansen made everyone think shot before putting it on the stick of one of the hottest players in the league, Forsberg. He made no mistake and put the Predators up 3-2.
The Jets got the game tied again, as Ehlers forced a turnover that caused a two-on-one before giving it to Patrik Laine. Laine made no mistake and ended his three-game goalless streak by getting it in off the far post.
That goal gave the Jets life. They got four or five good chances within the next three minutes. They finally capitalized on a slick move by Joel Armia. He picked the puck off the back boards after Josh Morrissey kept it in. He fought his way out front, faked a pass, then beat Rinne’s glove. 4-3 Jets.
Mathieu Perreault got the Jets their two-goal lead back as good puck control from the Jets led to a shot from Paul Postma, who forced a rebound from Rinne onto the stick of Perreault, who slid it by Rinne. The Predators challenged an offside and won the challenge, killing the goal. Still 4-3 Jets.
The puck was bouncing all game long and five minutes into the third, it hurt the Jets. Postma made a swing and didn’t get it, so Arvidsson grabbed it and gave it to Forsberg, who found Johansen on the back door. Johansen just beat Hellebuyck to tie the game at four.
With no scoring happening, the Predators and Jets started hitting each other. Ryan Ellis absolutely laid out Marko Dano and for the second time in the game, Dano headed back to the dressing room. Pressure by Forsberg caused the Jets to take a penalty for hooking, but the Predators were not able to get anything going with the extra man.
Neither team could solve the opposing netminder and regulation ended tied at four.
Laine almost ended the game early with a beautiful rush and was spoiled by Rinne. The puck went the other way and Byfuglien took a poorly timed hooking penalty. The Predators moved the puck around well on the power play before finally finishing the game on a James Neal snipe past a sprawling Mark Stuart.
— GameTimeArt (@GameTimeArt) March 14, 2017
WPG – Blake Wheeler (21) (PP) assisted by Mark Scheifele (41) and Adam Lowry (11)
WPG – Dustin Byfuglien (11) assisted by Nikolaj Ehlers (33) and Bryan Little (17)
NSH – Austin Watson (5) assisted by Anthony Bitetto (4)
NSH – Mike Fisher (17) assisted by Craig Smith (9) and Roman Josi (30)
NSH – Filip Forsberg (28) assisted by Ryan Johansen (42) and Viktor Arvidsson (25)
WPG – Patrik Laine (33) assisted by Nikolaj Ehlers (34) and Bryan Little (18)
WPG – Joel Armia (8) assisted by Josh Morrissey (14)
NSH – Ryan Johansen (12) assisted by Filip Forsberg (25) and Viktor Arvidsson (26)
NSH – James Neal (20) (PP) assisted by Roman Josi (31) and P.K. Subban (27)
THW Three Stars
First: Filip Forsberg (1 goal, 1 assist)
Second: Ryan Johansen (1 goal, 1 assist)
Third: Nikolaj Ehlers (2 assists)
Winnipeg Jets at New Jersey Devils
Prudential Center – 7:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, March 14
Broadcast Channels: TSN3
2016-17 Season Series: Nov. 29 – New Jersey (2) at Winnipeg (3)
Nashville Predators at Washington Capitals
Verizon Center – 6:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 16
Broadcast Channels: FS-TN
2016-17 Season Series: Feb. 25 – Washington (2) at Nashville (5)
Judson Rempel was born and raised in the Great White North, skating on ponds and watching hockey every Saturday night in small town Manitoba. When he’s not watching hockey, he’s playing hockey with his son and daughter, and trying to convince his wife to let him watch more hockey.