Before the game even began it sounded like a bit of a home game with the many Jets fans inside Bridgestone Arena chanting True North during the national anthem. Perhaps buoyed by the goodwill, the Jets began the game quickly as they scored just 18 seconds into this contest when Patrik Laine finished off a give and go with Kyle Connor. It was Laine’s fifth goal of the season. The Jets had to kill a 5 on 3 for 25 seconds late in the first period but the penalty kill held up to all Nashville was able to send their way. The shot edge was in favour of the home side 9-8.
It was a tough middle frame for the captain as Blake Wheeler was first slow to get up after it appeared his skate collided with the pad of Preds netminder Juuse Saros. He would head to the room and return. His next shift he took a puck to the face but this time only went down the tunnel and was quickly back on the bench sporting a bloody lip. Nikolaj Ehlers scored his team leading 10th goal of the season off a nifty pass from Jack Roslovic. Late in the 2nd the Preds struck back when Rocco Grimaldi waited until Nick Bonino got to just the right spot and he made no mistake putting it past Connor Hellebuyck which cut the Jets lead to one.
Blake Wheeler wasn’t on the Jets bench to start the 3rd period but did eventually return a few minutes after the period got underway. With the Preds buzzing Connor Hellebuyck continued to stand tall for the Jets for the entire frame (or you could change word frame to game or even to season) as he made 16 more saves for a total of 38 saves on 39 shots he faced.
The Jets improved to 7-1-1 this month, have won three straight on this road trip and improve to 13-8-1 on the season.
For those who would like to take a deeper dive into the advanced stats here are the results from the game via Natural Stat Trick.
– Patrik Laine scored his fifth goal and second goal in last five games;
– Nikolaj Ehlers scored his team leading 10th goal of season;
– It was the 100th NHL goal of Ehlers career;
– Mathieu Perreault played in his 600th NHL game;
– Kyle Connor played in his 200th NHL game;
– Jets are 10-1-1 in one goal games.
Coach Maurice: Play of Nikolaj Ehlers. Start of his club tonight. Looking at the patterns of the three road wins. On the beating Wheeler took in the 2nd period. Play of the 4th line. What has adding the cutback element meant for Jack Roslovic? On the 2nd line finding each other. What is the team learning in 3rd periods?
All audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.
The Jets are off tomorrow but will head to Dallas to conclude this four-game road trip against their division rival on Thursday. You can kick start your Wednesday with the Morning Papers which go live at 7 am on illegalcurve.com.