By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets fell to the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Tuesday night at the MTS Centre. Here are your Quick Hits from the game:
How it happened: The first period was, by all accounts, a draw. 2013 No. 1 overall Seth Jones opening the Predators account with a excellent display of skill as he scored on a wrap-around that Ondrej Pavelec probably could have played better. No discrediting Jones on the play, though, it was a solid move. The lead didn’t last long for the Preds, however, as Chris Thorburn got his stick on a Mark Stuart point shot to tally his first of the year past Thunder Bay’s Carter Hutton. The goal came just 22 seconds after Jones’ fifth of the season. Each team traded chances to no avail after Thorburn’s marker.
The second period was mostly Predators. They took the lead on a Roman Josi goal, but not before a beautiful tic-tac-toe and another tic before Josi dispensed the puck into the empty net with ease. The rest of the period was a lot of back and forth, with the Predators looking the more dangerous team. The Jets best chance came on a drop pass from Bryan Little to Zach Bogosian whose shot rang off the post behind Hutton. That was until the last three minutes of the period.
First Nick Spaling made it 3-1 for the Preds, who looked to be in command of the game. Enter rookie Mark Scheifele. Scheifele fired a shot from the goal line that hit a couple of Predators and found its way into the back of the net. Just 27 seconds later, Scheifele fed Blake Wheeler with a pass as he streaked into the Preds zone. Wheeler snapped a shot that Hutton couldn’t control and bounced into the back of his net. Tie game. The period ended 3-3.
Nashville scored within the first minute as Mike “Underwood” Fisher scored after having a goal disallowed mere seconds earlier. The Jets chased the scoreboard the rest of the game and produced chances, with No. 55 leading the way. But it was to no avail, as the Jets couldn’t muster a substantial retort.
Shots: 27-25 Jets
What it means: The Jets were handed their second loss tonight under Paul Maurice, who now sits at a 6-2 record since taking over from Claude Noel. The Jets still sit seven points adrift from Minnesota who is in action tonight against Anaheim.
Jets player of the game: Mark Scheifele. The “kid” had one goal, one assist and played one of his best games as a Winnipeg Jet.
Jets stat of the game: Chris Thorburn scored his first goal of the season and first goal in his last 50 games.
What is next for the Jets: For the first time since returning to the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks will pay a visit to Winnipeg to face the Jets on Friday night. One downer? John Tortorella will serve his last day of his 15-day suspension on Friday and will not be available to the media.