Early pressure and a couple quick goals carried the Winnipeg Jets to their third straight victory on Tuesday night at the MTS Centre.
From the drop of the puck, the Jets skated circles around the Nashville Predators before the visitors could even get their legs. With sustained pressure came two Nashville penalties, which begat two Jets power play goals, which would prove to be all the Jets needed to hang on to the win.
For the third straight game the Jets got stellar goaltending – a trend which Winnipeg will be glad to see continue – and rode it to victory.
Maybe most impressive about Winnipeg’s performance on Tuesday was there ability to hang with a team that has been at or near the top of possession early this season. The Predators are no slouch when it comes to controlling play, and aside from a single blemish coming on a Predators goal from Filip Forsberg, the Jets held them to nothing.
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In fact, by hanging on until the 16:17 mark of the second period, Winnipeg stretched their shutout streak, which began on Oct. 30 against the Devils, to 161:17, a new team record.
At least for now, everything seems to be going right for Winnipeg. When they could not score, they were buoyed by their goaltending. When the goaltending finally cracked, the abysmal power play came through with a pair of markers. If the team can put it all together for a stretch, it wouldn’t be beyond reality to imagine this current three-game winning streak stretched to five or six.
Dustin Byfuglien’s play tonight, aside from an egregious interference call, was inspired. In the recent road swing and subsequent home game against Nashville, Byfuglien’s physicality on the offensive side has been impeccable. Against Nashville especially, Byfuglien was able to produce more than a couple scoring opportunities by driving wide and using his size.
And, as has become custom, Mathieu Perrault continues his stellar play. While he may still be searching for his first goal of the season, Perrault has been nothing short of brilliant for the Jets through 13 games. Though many are quick to be critical of Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, the move to pick up Perrault is looking like the keenest move of his tenure thus far.
Along with the victory, Jets fans shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the Jets didn’t lose ground in the Central Division. With St. Louis streaking, the Blackhawks possibly finding their scoring touch once again, and the surprising Minnesota Wild clinging to the division lead, the Jets need to win divisional contests like Tuesday’s against Nashville.
The season is still young, but the Jets have shown a strong commitment to their defensive play and they’ve been rewarded. If the scoring can come around, the Jets could challenge for a playoff seed.