Fisher's power-play tally off a goal-mouth scramble just 42
seconds into the third period lifted the Nashville Predators to a
4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
The Predators center had a goal waved off because of goalie
interference 22 seconds earlier but then swatted in one that counted
with Jets right-winger Devin Setoguchi serving a slashing penalty
called late in the second period.
The goal was his 14th of the season as Nashville improved to 24-23-8
and moved out of the Central Division cellar, a point ahead of
The Predators wrapped up a four-game road trip through Western
Fisher had a goal disallowed when center David Legwand appeared to
jostle with goalie Ondrej Pavelec. The faceoff came outside the
Winnipeg zone, but the puck was dumped in quickly and Fisher scored
in almost identical fashion.
"We weren't sure about the call but we knew we had enough time to
get another one," Fisher said. "It was a similar play, just puck to
the net, rebound and we were in the right spots."
Nashville played a brilliant road game, suffocating the Jets and
generating just enough offense to grab a 3-1 lead late in the middle
frame, but the Jets scored a pair to knot the score 3-3 before the
period was done.
Standing just to the side of the post, center Mark Scheifele banked
the puck off blueliner Roman Josi's skate for his 11th goal of his
rookie season. Just 27 seconds later, right-winger Blake Wheeler
scored his club-leading 22nd goal, hammering a shot that slipped
through Nashville goalie Carter Hutton's glove, fell down and rolled
into the net.
Fisher said despite the setback, his team did not roll over.
"I thought we had a really good second (period) and they scored a
couple of late goals. I thought we carried the play and we felt good
about our game overall," he said. "Going into the power play we knew
it would be a big one, (so just) try to get one."
Predators defensemen Seth Jones and Josi, and left-winger Nick
Spaling also scored for Nashville, while center Craig Smith added
Jones opened the scoring just 3:38 into the game on a sensational
solo effort. The rookie defenseman, Nashville's first-round pick in
last summer's draft, picked up the puck in his own end, moved down
the right side, circled the net and stuffed in his fifth goal of the
year past Pavelec, who was slow to get over.
Jones said scoring early in each of the three periods was a huge lift
for the visitors.
"Before the game, (head coach) Barry (Trotz) put a huge emphasis on
it'll feel like a playoff game, the crowd's going to be into it and
we have to do the best job to come out quick and pounce on them and
not let them come down on us," he said. "This was such a big game
[to top of second column]
Trotz said he was pleased with the resolve of his group.
"It's a tough arena to play in, great, great atmosphere. But I
thought we played really well," he said. "We gave them a couple of
gifts at the end (of the second), but that was a good response.
"Hopefully, we can build on this. It was a good road trip for us."
Right winger Chris Thorburn, known more for his fisticuffs than
scoring touch, registered his first goal of the season on a nifty
deflection in the first period for Winnipeg.
Hutton was shaky at times but did enough to secure the win, stopping
Pavelec made 21 saves between the pipes for the Jets.
Jets coach Paul Maurice wasn't pleased with Setoguchi's slashing
penalty, retaliation for being taken on a rough ride by defenseman
"It was a penalty that we can't take. That was addressed," he said.
Weber got banged up early in the third and had to leave the game.
Afterwards, a club official said the all-star defenseman suffered an
upper-body and would be assessed on Wednesday.
The Predators have a couple of days off before hosting the New
Jersey Devils on Friday night.
NOTES: The Jets played Tuesday night without LW Evander Kane, whose
right hand is swollen up like an oven mitt due to an infection. He
will be sidelined at least until after the Olympic break ends in
late February. Kane missed four games after slicing his knuckle open
during a scrap with Tampa Bay D Eric Brewer on Jan. 7. He returned a
week ago, scoring once and setting up three other goals in four
games, but was forced out again. ... Barry Trotz, the only head
coach in Predators history and tops on the NHL's active coaching
seniority list, hails from Dauphin, Manitoba, a town about 200 miles
northwest of Winnipeg. ... The Jets wore commemorative No. 11 Rick
Rypien jerseys during their warm-up skate as part of Let's Talk Day,
to raise funds and awareness for mental health issues in Canada.
Rypien, who played in the NHL from 2005 to 2011, struggled with
depression and, shortly after signing with Winnipeg in 2011,
committed suicide. He was 27. ... Shea Weber entered the game with
the league lead in goals by a defenseman (13). The Predators were
10-1-2 when their captain scored.
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