Juuse Saros and Connor Hellebuyck waged a nice little goaltending battle between themselves this evening in Winnipeg, with Saros ultimately coming out on top with a 2-1 Predators victory in overtime. The Preds served the Jets with
Saros- in a departure from his recent mediocrity- has been a nightmare for the Jets' offense all season. The Preds have started Saros in each of the three games they've played against Winnipeg this year, and Saros has stopped 84 of the 87 Jets shots he's faced in that time. For reference, that's a dominant .966 save percentage Saros has posted against the Jets. He was on, coming up big when fellow Finn Patrik Laine attempted a backhand penalty shot in the second period. If it hadn't been for his zoned-in reflexes and quick glove tonight, the Preds would have lost handily to the Jets.
Saros' performance is especially impressive when you take into account Winnipeg's total high-danger shots. The Jets recorded 12 HDCF tonight, compared to the Preds' eight. That left Saros with plenty of room for error, but he stoned 11 of those 12 shots.
In terms of Corsi ratings for both of tonight's teams, Winnipeg edged out Nashville by just a fraction of a percentage. The Jets controlled the puck for 50.41 percent of the game, while the Preds had possession for 49.59 percent of the game.
Mikael Granlund's OT winner capped off a possession-heavy 3-on-3 period by the Preds. The Preds only recorded two shots during the extra time, but concurrently prevented the Jets from getting any shots at all. Mattias Ekholm, who recorded the primary assist on Granlund's game-winner, was the lone skater on either team to record a +2 rating on the night.
Viktor Arvidsson had a rough night. The struggling forward took two penalties and finished the game with a -1 rating, while having his time on the power play cut down to a mere 45 seconds in total. Since the Jan. 16 game against Anaheim, Arvy has been a point-every-other-game guy, so look for him to notch one against Calgary on Thursday. Let's try and be positive, people.
The Jets' loss puts their record at 2-7-1 in their last 10 games- their worst run since the 2016-2017 season. Still, they were able to render a point in the standings by going into OT with the Preds. Nashville and Winnipeg are now locked at 57 points with Chicago in the Central Division standings. Fortunately, the Preds have two games in hand against the Blackhawks and one against the Jets. With Colorado's win tonight, they put themselves seven points ahead of the three knotted Central teams.
The Preds will trek westward to Calgary on Thursday with a 14-9-3 road record. In the Preds' lone game against the Flames this season, they lost 6-5 in overtime thanks to that annoyingly fantastic Matthew Tkachuk goal. Tkachuk and Sean Monahan each had three points in that game, but it's Tkachuk the Preds need to brace themselves for. In nine career games against the Preds, Tkachuk has 11 points.