Jets improve playoff position, earning crucial 2 points on road against Predators

Neal Pionk scored 55 seconds into overtime to lead the Jets to a 3-2 victory over hometown Nashville on Saturday. The Predators now trail Winnipeg by five points in the chase for the Western Conference's second wild-card berth.

Pionk scores in OT to drop Nashville 5 points back of 2nd wild-card berth in West

A Winnipeg player directs the puck into the net from inside the crease, with a Nashville defender behind him, and the Nashville goaltender well outside of the crease, looking on.
Jets defenceman Neal Pionk (4) scores against Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) and centre Tommy Novak (82) during a 3-2 overtime win in Nashville on Saturday. (Mark Zaleski/AP Photo via The Canadian Press)

Neal Pionk scored 55 seconds into overtime to give the Winnipeg Jets a 3-2 victory over the hometwon Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Nikolaj Ehlers and Adam Lowry also scored and Connor Hellebuyck made 18 saves for Winnipeg, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Josh Morrissey had two assists.

"We played well enough to win that in regulation," Jets head coach Rick Bowness said. "Give their goaltender [credit], he was outstanding. We were really happy with our overall team game for 60 minutes."

Cody Glass and Luke Evangelista scored and Juuse Saros made 30 saves for the Predators, who have lost two straight.

"I was really proud of our guys," Predators head coach John Hynes said. "Big magnitude game, lot of guys playing in the first game of that magnitude in the NHL. I thought our guys battled really hard. I'm proud of them."

WATCH | Pionk lifts Jets over Predators in OT:

Pionk's overtime winner lifts Jets over Predators

3 months ago
Duration 1:17
Winnipeg edge Nashville 3-2 with Neal Pionk's goal in overtime. The Predators now trail Winnipeg by five points in the chase for the Western Conference's second wild-card berth.

The Predators trail Winnipeg by five points in the chase for the Western Conference's second wild-card berth, though Nashville has played three fewer games.

"Obviously, you'd love to win in regulation, take all two," Lowry said. "If we take care of business on our end, we play them again, we'll put ourselves in the driver's seat to control our own destiny."

In overtime, Pionk was able to get a tap-in off of a shot attempt from Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Just 34 seconds after Ehlers tied the game at 1 early in the third with a slap shot from the top of the left circle, Evangelista took a feed from Tommy Novak in the low slot and banked a shot off of Hellebuyck and into the net. Novak has points in five consecutive games.

Lowry converted the rebound of a Morrissey shot at 10:15 of the third.

"We stuck with it and I thought we started to generate more as the game went on, make plays when they were there," Morrissey said.

Glass scored the game's first goal at 5:26 of the opening period. Cal Foote's shot from the right point hit traffic in front of the Winnipeg net. Just outside the crease on the right side, Glass swatted the bouncing puck past Hellebuyck.

"Obviously you'd like two [points], but you got to take what you can get," Glass said. "We're still three games in hand or whatever it is. We need to string along a couple wins here and really just come together."

Philip Tomasino also assisted on Glass' goal, extending his point-scoring streak to four games, which equals a career high.

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