Winnipeg Jets (32-21-12) at Nashville Predators (41-18-7)
|Date & Time||Saturday March 7, 2015, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Nashville Predators -177 / Winnipeg Jets +160 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
It’s now a season long five game losing streak for the Nashville Predators and they’ll look to get back on track against a tough opponent on Saturday night. One thing that’s for sure is that the Predators need to find a way to start keeping the puck out of their net because that has been their undoing over this stretch. The Predators haven’t allowed fewer than three goals in any game during the five game losing streak and right now they’re just finding ways to lose hockey games. Thursday night they hosted the New York Islanders and absolutely dominated during the opening period, only to come away trailing. Pekka Rinne allowed two goals on five shots in the first period and if it weren’t for a late goal from Colin Wilson with a few seconds remaining the Predators would have been in really bad shape heading into the second. Instead they were given a bit of a reprieve but they were unable to capitalize in a second period that saw the Islanders find their legs and take control. Rinne found his game as well and kept the Predators to within a goal heading into the third. After a flukey goal gave the Islanders a 3-1 advantage the Predators came storming back. Mike Ribeiro scored his 13th of the season and Craig Smith followed up with his 21st of the year just 31 seconds later to make it a 3-3 game. Nashville had all the momentum and looked poised for a big comeback win, but that all disappeared when the Islanders regained the lead for good just over three minutes later. Rinne finished the game with a bad stat line, allowing four goals on just 26 shots to drop his record to 35-12-3 on the year. The Predators have allowed the Blues to get back into the division title race despite St. Louis losing two straight games as well. Nashville leads by just four points and have played two more games than the Blues.
Winnipeg is just 5-3-2 in their last 10 games and they now really find themselves on the brink of being knocked out of the top eight in the Western Conference. The Jets have been passed in the standings by the surging Minnesota Wild and are currently just two points ahead of the Kings, but with Los Angeles having one game in hand. They’ve lost four of their last six games overall and after a big home win against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday they fell to an Ottawa Senators club that is really playing some good hockey right now. Winnipeg trailed 3-0 in the third period before Michael Frolik finally got the Jets on the board with his 14th goal of the season. That would be the only goal for the Jets on the night in game they controlled for the most part. The problem was that they were not able to solve Andrew Hammond at all, as the young goaltender absolutely dominated them from start to finish. This was a bad time for the Jets to run into a hot goaltender because they really need the points right now. With the teams like Minnesota and Los Angeles, Calgary and San Jose have been playing it’s imperative that they get this straightened out quickly.
This is one that’s probably better to stay away from with a full slate of games on Saturday. Odds are that the Predators are going to break their losing streak soon. Nashville has been too good all season long to keep a streak like this going, but it’s hard to play them at this price with the way they’ve struggled. Winnipeg should compete well in this one but whether or not they can get two points is another story.