Rinne makes 32 saves as Predators beat Jets 3-1

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, of Finland, blocks a shot against the Winnipeg Jets in the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 1

Nashville Predators' P.K. Subban (76) and Ryan Johansen (92) celebrate after beating the Winnipeg Jets in an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 13, 2018,

Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien (33) and Nashville Predators' Ryan Ellis (4) chase a rebound after Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35), of Finland, bloc

Winnipeg Jets center Mathieu Perreault (85) tries to control the puck between Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35), of Finland, and defenseman

Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33), of Sweden, tries to deflect the puck against Winnipeg Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson in the first

Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33), of Sweden, is congratulated by goalie Pekka Rinne (35), of Finland, after Arvidsson scored a goal

Nashville Predators left wing Austin Watson (51) scores a goal against Winnipeg Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson (34) in the second period of an NHL hoc

Winnipeg Jets center Marko Dano (56), of Austria, battles Nashville Predators defenseman Alexei Emelin (25), of Russia, for the puck in the first peri

Winnipeg Jets left wing Nikolaj Ehlers (27), of Denmark, moves the puck against Nashville Predators right wing Ryan Hartman (38) in the first period o

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey (44) falls as Nashville Predators' Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland, skates past in the first period of an NHL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pekka Rinne made 32 saves and the surging Nashville Predators scored two short-handed goals in beating the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Tuesday night to tie for the top spot in the NHL standings.

Kevin Fiala, Austin Watson and Viktor Arvidsson had the goals for Nashville, which has won 11 of 12.

The Predators reached 100 points in 69 games, the fastest mark in franchise history. The defending Western Conference champions are even with Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay — and Nashville has played one fewer game.

Kyle Connor scored for the Jets, losers of three straight. Winnipeg fell eight points behind the first-place Predators in the Central Division.

Nashville scored three goals before the game was nine minutes old. Playing the finale of a six-game road trip, their longest of the season, and their second game in two nights, the Jets came out sluggish against the speedy Predators.

Fiala scored the first goal at 2:48 of the opening period.

Roman Josi carried the puck up center ice before sending a pass to Kyle Turris on the right side. Turris returned the pass to Josi as he continued through the slot and he immediately fed a trailing Fiala with a backhand pass. He had an open net, and he buried a snap shot up high for his 22nd goal of the season.

Watson and Arvidsson scored short-handed goals 34 seconds apart on the same penalty kill to make it 3-0. It was the first time in Predators history that they scored short-handed twice on the same power play.

Jets coach Paul Maurice called a basketball-style timeout following Arvidsson's goal. Following the stoppage, Connor Hellebuyck took over in goal for starter Michael Hutchinson. After the first period, the team announced that Hutchinson would not return due to an upper-body injury. Hutchinson stopped 12 of the 15 shots he faced in 8:45 of action.

Nashville poured 24 shots on the Winnipeg net in the first, its most in a period this season.

Hellebuyck made 30 saves in relief.

Connor got Winnipeg on the scoreboard at 1:08 of the third with a power-play goal when he tapped in the rebound of Blake Wheeler's shot from the right side.

Patrik Laine picked up an assist on Connor's goal, extending his franchise-record point streak to 13 games.

Watson also did some strong work in his defensive zone to help Rinne. With just more than eight minutes gone in the third, he cleared a puck that was headed into the net after Rinne got a piece of a shot from Laine.

NOTES: Watson's four short-handed goals this season place him one behind NHL leader Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers. ... Nashville is 34-3-5 when scoring first. ... Winnipeg successfully killed off all three Nashville power plays. The Jets have not allowed an opponent to score on the man advantage in five of their last six games. ... Jets C Paul Stastny was a late scratch.


Jets: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

Predators: At the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.


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