Paul Stastny had two goals, Pierre Luc-Dubois and Kyle Connor each added one with an assist as the Winnipeg Jets beat the visiting Nashville Predators 6-4 on Saturday night.
Playing a second consecutive game without top-line forward Mark Scheifele and third straight minus fellow star Mark Wheeler due to COVID-19 protocols, Winnipeg won its second in a row after starting 0-2-1.
Adam Lowry also scored, Kristian Vesalainen recorded his first NHL goal and Nate Schmidt posted three assists for the Jets.
Nick Cousins had a goal with two assists, Thomas Novak recorded three assists while Colton Sissons, Roman Josi and Philip Tomasino also scored for the Predators, who have dropped four of five.
The Predators took advantage of an early Winnipeg turnover in its own end. That led to a two-on-1 chance for the Predators and Sissons’ goal by Connor Hellebuyck (26 saves) 1:15 into the contest.
The Jets, though, quickly regrouped. Off some defensive pressure in the neutral zone, Lowry caught up to Dylan DeMelo’s lead pass and broke free to beat Nashville goalie Juuse Saros (23 saves) at the 2:42 mark of the opening period.
Winnipeg went ahead just 1:11 into the second, when Dubois deflected home Schmidt’s drive for his fourth goal of the season. It was one minute, 23 seconds later that the Jets had a two-goal advantage after Stastny pushed in a rebound of Connor’s shot on the power play.
Nashville, however, got within 3-2 thanks to a power-play score from Cousins with 6:33 left in the middle period.
But Winnipeg regained its two-goal edge with 11 seconds remaining in the second. Vesalainen, the Jets’ first-round pick in the 2017 draft, re-directed Schmidt’s shot past Saros for that milestone goal in his 22nd NHL game.
Josi again got the Predators within a goal, at 4-3, with his one-timer 3:10 into the third period, but Stastny tipped in Neal Pionk’s shot 26 seconds later. With 13:56 left, Connor notched the second power-play tally for Winnipeg, which has at least five goals in three straight contests.
Tomasino concluded the night’s scoring with 6:19 left in regulation.
–Field Level Media