The Winnipeg Jets rolled into Nashville Thursday night, looking to extend a four game point streak, start a fresh winning streak, and further cement their hold on a playoff spot.
They did none of the above.
With new additions Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford in the lineup, the Jets played well against the Predators, but penalties were again the Achilles heel for the squad. Two of Nashville's goals were scored on the power play, and the third came mere seconds after another penalty expired.
The Jets were given a golden opportunity to tie the game midway through the third period, with a 5-on-3 for 1:31, but failed to convert, thanks to the stellar play of Pekka Rinne.
Rinne was, without a doubt, the story of the night, stuffing the Jets multiple times, and being helped out by his goal posts on more than one occasion. If you want to know the secret to Nashville's sudden improvement from 6th in the Central division last year to first - start by looking at their goaltending situation. Rinne has 32 wins in 41 games, a Sv% of .930 (2nd in the league) and a GAA of 1.99.
Overall, it was a solid game for the Jets. They showed that they could give the best in the league all they could handle, and with the tiniest bit of puck luck, could have walked away with the win.
New guys Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford looked fairly comfortable in their first game. Stafford, especially, seemed to fit right in to Paul Maurice's heavy forechecking style.
Speaking of Myers - full credit to him for blocking a Shea Weber shot. On purpose.
Ondrej Pavelec was average through the night, but the third goal falls squarely on his shoulders. Weak wraparound attempts like that should not be getting through.
Anthony Peluso will be pilloried for his penalties, but the hooking PIM wasn't a terribly strong call, and something the opposition seemed to be able to get away with.
Chris Thorburn also continued his strong play of late, with a great scoring chance that drew a penalty, leading the the Jets only goal.
Filip Forsberg was drafted two picks later than Jacob Trouba in 2012, and there were many who thought the Jets should have taken Forsberg over Trouba. He's showing why he was expected to be a top-5 pick, notching his 19th goal and 31st assist in the game.