NASHVILLE – A high-scoring effort from the Nashville Predators extended Winnipeg’s recent slide.
Calle Jarnkrok scored twice and Pekka Rinne made 20 saves to lead the Predators to a 7-0 win Saturday night, handing the Jets their fifth straight loss.
Craig Smith, Seth Jones, Mike Ribeiro, James Neal and Mattias Ekholm also scored as the Predators won for the second time in three games. Rinne recorded his second shutout of the season and 38th of his career.
“It was kind of a chippy, broken game, a little different,” Rinne said. “I thought we stuck with it really well.”
Smith, Jones, Ryan Ellis and Cody Hodgson all had two assists.
“A lot of forwards jumped in there and pushed some offence, which was good,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “I’ve said it a few games in a row now, there’s been lots of opportunity and lots of chances and sometimes you’re just snake-bitten. Tonight it seemed to come out for us.”
Michael Hutchinson stopped four of the seven shots he faced and Ondrej Pavelec finished with 23 saves on his 27 shots for the Jets.
“I don’t think that you are going to find a guy in here who is happy about the way anything went tonight,” Jets captain Andrew Ladd said. “We’ll stick together and find a way to get out of this little funk that we are in, and at the end of it, we will be better team because of it.”
Jarnkrok started Nashville’s four-goal first period 4:45 in with a slap shot from the right dot that beat Hutchinson on the far side.
Just 1:13 later, Jones sent a pass from the right faceoff dot to Smith in the low slot, where he had an easy wrist shot over Hutchinson’s outstretched glove. It was Smith’s first goal since Oct. 17.
“Our team has been playing great,” Smith said. “Every line is chipping in in some way and on top of that, we have a great goaltender who is playing well.”
Jones scored his first of the season with just under 8 minutes left with a slap shot from the right point that beat Hutchinson high to the glove side. The goal ended Hutchinson’s night.
“Lot of pucks to the net and we saw them go in tonight,” Jones said. “That’s kind of our game plan in every game. We’re not going to score seven every game, but our game plan is to get pucks and bodies and traffic and try to get some dirty goals.”
Ribeiro quickly greeted Pavelec with 5:27 left when he collected a loose puck to the left of the Winnipeg net and scored his second of the season.
Neal scored the only goal of the second on a one-timer from the low slot off of a pass from Colin Wilson.
“They got on us real quick and as soon as things started to go bad, we had a very difficult time doing some simple things; moving our feet at the right speed and making some simple plays,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
Jarnkrok and Ekholm each scored power-play goals in the third to conclude the second seven-goal game of the week for the Predators.
It was the first two-goal game of Jarnkrok’s career.
NOTES: The teams combined for 156 penalty minutes in the game. … The Jets have allowed at least five goals against in their last three games. … Nashville is 9-1-1 when scoring first this season. … The Predators have combined for four power-play goals over their last three games. … Hodgson had his first multi-point game as a Predator.