When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 24, 2012
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
THE STORY: The Winnipeg Jets helped themselves – at least a little – on Friday by rallying for a 4-3 overtime win on the road over the eighth-place Washington Capitals. With a game in hand, the Jets will look to close the four-point gap between themselves and both Washington and Buffalo on Saturday when they visit the Nashville Predators. The tilt is the lone contest between the teams.
TV: 7 p.m. ET., CBC, FS-Tennessee
ABOUT THE JETS (35-31-8): A veteran of 348 NHL games, Bryan Little has never experienced playoff hockey – and he’s not alone in the Winnipeg locker room. Eight other Jets have not seen playoff action and their frustration may endure another long offseason as the Jets’ sit in 10th in the Eastern Conference. “Believe me, there’s nothing more that we want than to make the playoffs,” Little said. “If we don’t, it’s going to be a long summer and I know all about long summers. You don’t want to have any regrets after the season is over.” Other Jets feeling the playoff pressure include Evander Kane, Ron Hainsey, Ondrej Pavelec and Zach Bogosian.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (42-24-8): Alexander Radulov scored in his first game as a Predator since April 20, 2008, but Nashville fell 5-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. Nashville is hoping Radulov will provide the offense required to push them over the top come playoff time. The Predators are fifth in the Western Conference with 92 points. They are tied with the Chicago Blackhawks, but have a game in hand. Nashville is just one point behind the Detroit Red Wings, who holds the coveted final home playoff spot in the opening round of the playoffs. Nashville is 19-4-2 in its last 25 home games.
1. Nashville has scored six power-play goals in its last seven games.
2. Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne yielded five goals on 23 shots versus Pittsburgh.
3. Nashville has earned at least a point in seven of the last eight meetings against the former Atlanta Thrashers – now the Jets.
PREDICTION: Predators 3, Jets 1. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$.