The Nashville Predators chased Michael Hutchinson, handed out first period frosty’s, paid tribute to Paris scored a touchdown and added the extra point.
In one sentence, that’s about how it went down at 501 Broadway on Saturday.
In front of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena, the Preds hosted the Winnipeg Jets and beat their Central Division rival 7-0 to improve to 10-3-3 on the year. Five different skaters had a goal and Calle Jarnkrok added two as Nashville cruised to victory.
Pekka Rinne turned aside all 20 shots he saw to earn his ninth win of the year and 39th career shutout.
Unlike Thursday night, the capacity crowd didn’t have to wait eons for some offense. Instead, they saw the home team bury a goal less than five minutes into the contest. Cody Hodgson chipped a puck off the boards, finding Calle Jarnkrok who one-timed it past Hutchinson to open the scoring.
Less than a minute later, some gorgeous passing was on display as Filip Forsberg found Seth Jones who found Craig Smith in front. The former Wisconsin Badger worked the puck around a diving Hutchinson to make it 2-0, Preds.
Midway through the opening frame, Seth Jones would add to the Nashville lead with a shot from the point that made its way through traffic and into the net. After three goals in 12:01, Winnipeg Head Coach Paul Maurice had seen enough and swapped his starting goaltender with back-up Ondrej Pavelec.
“We’ve been talking about getting bodies in front and getting shots from the point,” Forsberg said. “I think we did a really great job of that. Two or three goals just like that in the first period and then got that going the other periods too.”
Just because there was a new netminder in the crease didn’t mean the story of the game would change, however, and the Predators made sure of that. A little over two minutes after Pavelec entered the game, Mike Ribeiro tallied his second of the season to make it 4-0. Then, in the second, James Neal registered his eighth to make it 5-0.
“You just try to play the same way,” Forsberg said about getting out to a big lead. “When you are the team that’s up you don’t want to give it up. Obviously sometimes that is going to happen but when you are up 5-0, you do not want to give that up. So you stay calm and keep playing the game.”
Keep it up is what they did as the Preds would add two power play markers in the third (when the game started getting out of hand) to round out the scoring.
“I mean, 4-0 after the first doesn’t happen too often,” Forsberg said. “We had a pretty good start and we kept going. I thought we played well the whole game and sometimes you are up 4-0 and you shut it down a little bit but I thought we kept pushing.”
The Predators have now scored seven goals in two of their last three contests. According to ESPN, they’re the only team to score seven in a game twice this season. They’ll hope that offense continues when the 5-8-4 Anaheim Ducks visit Music City on Tuesday.
Puck drop is at 7:00pm Central.
PHOTO CREDIT: Cindy Roadman // Twitter