After the Winnipeg Jets stunned the hockey world with a 3-1 win over the 2013 Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks in a road game Sunday, they fell to the Nashville Predators 4-3 Tuesday night at the MTS Centre.
The loss was just the Jets' second in eight games under new head coach Paul Maurice, and it came against a Predators team that, before the game, sat one point below Winnipeg for dead last in the Central Division.
With the win, the Preds are now switching places with the Jets, holding a single point lead on them in the standings. Winnipeg falls back to .500 with the loss with a 24-24-5 record on the year.
Seth Jones opened the scoring for the Predators with his fifth of the season. The 2013 first-round draft pick converted on a wraparound attempt, beating an unsuspecting Ondrej Pavelec to give the Preds a 1-0 lead just 3:48 in to the game.
That lead would be short-lived, however, as the Jets made it 1-1 just 22 seconds later with Chris Thorburn’s first goal of the year. Thorburn redirected a Mark Stuart shot from the point that beat Preds netminder Carter Hutton low.
The Jets spent four of the next six minutes a man down, killing off back-to-back penalties to keep the score even. Dustin Byfuglien was called for a slash, followed by a goaltender interference call on Mark Scheifele.
The Jets closed out the period with a power play of their own, the first in the game for Winnipeg, but they were unable to convert, registering just one shot on net.
Nashville got off to another hot start in the second period — this time is only took 42 seconds to take a 2-1 lead over the home team. Defenceman Roman Josi capped off a four-pass, highlight-reel marker that ended with both Jets defenders on the ice and Pavelec 10 feet out of his net.
The rest of the period looked to be written in his history as a snoozer until the final minutes. Nashville added to their lead with a goal from Nick Spaling — his 10th of the season — before the Jets struck back with two quick goals just 27 seconds apart, all within the last three minutes of the second frame.
Mark Scheifele cut the lead to within one with a circus shot from behind the net that bounced off a Predators defender, and Blake Wheeler finished the shift for the Jets' second line with the tying goal — a wrister that caught the glove of Hutton before trickling across the line to make it 3-3 with 1:20 to go in the second.
But for the third straight period, the Jets came out flat and once again it cost them on the scoreboard. After Predators forward Mike Fisher was denied a goal just 20 seconds in, thanks to an interference call, he wouldn’t be denied again, finishing the Preds’ man advantage with a marker that counted just 22 seconds later.
Pavelec finished the game with 21 saves and Zach Bogosian led all Jets with of ice time.
First period summary:
Goals – 1. NSH Jones (5) (Del Zotto, Smith) 3:48 2. WPG Thorburn (1) (Stuart, Trouba) 4:10
Penalties – WPG Byfuglien (Slashing) 5:19, WPG Scheifele (Interference) 7:49, NSH Weber (Holding the stick) 17:34
Second period summary:
Goals – 3. NSH Josi (7) (Smith, Legwand) 00:42 4. NSH Spaling (10) (Gaustad, Sissons) 17:18 5. WPG Scheifele (11) (Unassisted) 18:13 6. WPG Wheeler (22) (Scheifele, Trouba) 18:40
Penalties – WPG Setoguchi (Slashing) 18:54
Third period summary:
Goals – 7. NSH Fisher (14) (Hornqvist, Weber) 00:42
Penalties – NSH Clune (Tripping) 6:53