Brandon Tanev scored the winner with 1:26 to play and the Nashville Predators fell to the Winnipeg Jets by a 6-4 final on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. The result ends Nashville’s three-game win streak and seven-game point streak, just their third regulation loss at home this season.
Two of the League’s highest-scoring teams entering the contest, the Preds and Jets lived up to the hype, going back and forth throughout the contest, but it was Winnipeg who took the final lead of the evening.
The third period was Nashville’s best of the night, but it was their effort through the first 40 minutes that left something to be desired when all was said and done.
“I thought we just played OK tonight, especially the first two periods,” Predators Captain Roman Josi said. “Against a good team like that, it’s just not enough.”
“I think we have to play better,” Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’re capable of playing at a different pace with better execution and more of an identity than we did. So, there’s room for improvement there.”
It was Winnipeg who took a 1-0 lead in the first, but in the final minute of the opening period, the Preds struck twice courtesy of goals from Calle Jarnkrok and Kevin Fiala, the second of which extended the goal-scorer’s point streak to eight games.
P.K. Subban potted a power-play goal in the middle stanza, but Winnipeg got three more in the second, including two goals from Nikolaj Ehlers to take a 4-3 lead into the locker room.
However, just 30 seconds into the third period, Yannick Weber blasted home his first of the season and first ever with the Preds at Bridgestone Arena to even the score once more, leading to a slew of chances for Nashville during the rest of regulation. But then a late goal from Tanev sealed it before Blake Wheeler added an empty netter to hand the Preds their first regulation loss in the month of December.
“They’re a skilled team and a fast team,” Weber said. “We knew it was going to be a tough match, but I think we gave them a little bit too much.”
On the right side of the ledger with regularity as of late, the loss provides a different challenge for Nashville as they prepare to host Carolina on Thursday with a chance to correct what went wrong.
“We obviously have to look ourselves in the mirror,” Preds forward Filip Forsberg said. “No team is good enough to only play one period in this League and win. One of the best teams, Winnipeg, they’re good. The third period was good, but the two others could’ve been better.
“It’s unfortunate because it’s a division game against a good opponent that’s right behind everybody for the top of the Western Conference,” Laviolette said. “We’ll try to take something from it and get better.”
Filip Forsberg now has a point in each of Nashville’s 16 home games this season.
Kevin Fiala’s eight-game point streak eclipses Forsberg’s streak of seven games (3g-7a-10pts from Nov. 11-24) for the longest point streak by a Nashville player this season.
The Predators host Carolina on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena before facing the Stars in Dallas on Saturday prior to the Christmas break.
Pete Weber’s Postgame Report