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11:00 AM PT12:00 PM MT1:00 PM CT2:00 PM ET19:00 GMT3:00 12:00 PM MST2:00 PM EST23:00 UAE14:00 ET17:00 BRT, January 12, 2020
Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba  Attendance: 15,325

Jets back home to face Predators after strong road trip

Nashville Predators at Winnipeg Jets

  1. The Jets have won four straight meetings with the Predators, including a 2-1 victory in Nashville in the first meeting this season on November 19. Neither team has ever won five straight meetings in this series since the Jets (then the Thrashers) joined the league in the 1999-00 season.
  2. Nashville has allowed a power-play goal in six straight games, allowing opponents to convert 10 of 22 opportunities (45.5 percent) over that span. The Predators have not allowed a power-play goal in seven straight games since November/December 2015.
  3. Winnipeg fell, 5-4, in Boston on Thursday in its fourth straight one-goal game, going 2-1-1 over that stretch. The Jets return home where they've lost five straight (0-4-1) dating back to December 17 and look to avoid losing six straight at home for the first time since February/March 2016.
  4. Pekka Rinne scored an empty-net goal in Thursday's win in Chicago, becoming the 12th NHL goaltender to score a goal and first since Mike Smith did so in October 2013. The goal came on his first shot this season and second shot of his career, making him one of four active goaltenders with multiple career shots on goal, along with Edmonton's Mike Smith (six), Minnesota's Alex Stalock (three), and Toronto's Frederik Andersen (two).
  5. Matt Duchene has 31 points (15g, 16a) in 31 career games against the Jets, but was held off the scoresheet in each of his last two meetings with Winnipeg after tallying seven points (4g, 3a) in his previous three.
  6. Kyle Connor lit the lamp in Thursday's loss to Boston, tying Mark Scheifele for the team lead with 22 goals this season. He and Scheifele have 14 goals each since November 27, tied for second most in the NHL; only Toronto's Auston Matthews (15) has more in that span.

To say it has been a strange week for the Nashville Predators would be a sizable understatement.

In a season that has been extremely underwhelming for Nashville -- a playoff participant for five straight years -- the organization decided to make some changes to shake up its situation.

On Monday, the team fired coach Peter Laviolette, who had been with the Predators since 2014 and compiled a 248-143-60 record. Laviolette replaced Barry Trotz, who guided Nashville for 15 years but whose clubs had a nasty habit of getting knocked out early in the postseason.

The Predators appeared to peak under Laviolette in 2017-18 when they won the Presidents' Trophy, had their best season in franchise history, won their first Central Division title and were the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. But the club lost to the Winnipeg Jets in the second round of the playoffs in seven games.

The two teams will renew their rivalry in a Sunday matinee in Winnipeg, and new Nashville coach John Hynes will be working his third game behind the Predators' bench.

Hynes, the third coach in team history, recorded his first Nashville win Thursday in Chicago. The game featured an unusual event at the end when 37-year-old goalie Pekka Rinne, who made 29 saves in the 5-2 victory, scored his first career goal into an empty net.

"I like to play the puck, so I mean it's something I've always dreamed of. So now I think the stars were lined up for me tonight," said Rinne, who has two assists this season. "I obviously understand that it might be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so I really enjoyed it."

Rinne became just the 12th goalie in NHL history to find the net. Martin Brodeur scored three for New Jersey and Ron Hextall tallied twice for Philadelphia.

Predators captain Roman Josi extended his point streak to 12 games (seven goals, 13 assists).

Winnipeg defeated Nashville 2-1 in the clubs' first meeting on Nov. 19, and the Jets are looking to get back on track in the second contest after losing 5-4 in Boston on Thursday in their third game in four nights.

Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp, Neal Pionk and Mark Scheifele tallied for the Jets, but they couldn't prevent a hat trick by the Bruins' David Pastrnak and two goals, including the game-winner, by Jake DeBrusk.

Winnipeg finished 2-1-1 on their four-game road trip, collecting wins in Montreal and Toronto. The team is 14-8-2 away from Manitoba and hasn't lost consecutive road games in regulation all season.

"We were about 10 minutes away from it being a great road trip," said Copp. "Kind of a sour taste right now, I feel like we kind of let one get away. But you know, all in all, pretty good road trip."

Winnipeg has done well in tight games, posting a 14-2-4 mark in one-goal matches, which ranks third in the NHL.

The Jets also shut it down when they lead late in games. They own a perfect 16-0-0 record when leading after two periods.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 11, 2020

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