WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP)Mikael Granlund scored 1:11 into overtime, lifting the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
Granlund’s blast went high past goalie Connor Hellebuyck and gave the Predators their third win in the last four games.
”You just try to shoot it, and I think I missed that shot quite a bit but it still went in,” Granlund said of his 11th goal of the season. ”Sometimes those pucks go in.”
Nick Bonino also scored for Nashville, which is 4-2-0 in its past six games.
Juuse Saros made 33 saves for the Predators, who were beginning a four-game trip.
Mason Appleton scored for the Jets, who have one win in their last eight games (1-6-1). Hellebuyck stopped 34 shots for Winnipeg, which ended a three-game homestand 1-1-1.
”We’re doing a good job boxing out in front of the net, and (Hellebuyck) can see the shots a little more,” Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers said. ”We’re working … and trying to limit their chances as much as we can.”
The game was tied 1-1 after the first period and stayed the same after the second.
Shortly after a shot by Jets center Mark Scheifele hit the crossbar, Appleton scored his third goal of the season by backhanding the puck between the pads of Saros at 2:46.
”I think there’s a ton of pride in our game defensively,” Appleton said. ”That’s why we’ve had so many tight games lately.
”When you defend the right way, that’s when you should generate more offense and score more goals. But they’re tough to come by and they’ll start falling for us.”
Nashville tied it up with 2:21 left in the first following a Winnipeg turnover in its own end.
Bonino took a pass from Rocco Grimaldi and sent the puck low past Hellebuyck from the left circle for his 16th goal of the season.
”A lot of these games, especially for (Saros), have gone either way and he’s kept us in it and we’ve ended up losing,” Bonino said. ”I think for him, he’s deserved more wins than he has. And tonight, penalty shot, huge saves on (Patrik) Laine, tracking the puck so well.”
Predators forward Filip Forsberg hit the post during a second-period power play.
Patrik Laine got a penalty shot after being slashed by Nashville’s Jarred Tinordi, but his backhand shot was turned aside by Saros’s blocker with 11:18 left in the middle frame.
Nashville coach John Hynes was asked what he was thinking when Laine lined up for his free shot.
”Not fun. Come on Juuse,” Hynes replied with a smile.
Winnipeg also had its second power play of the game, but none of the three shots thrown at Saros made it past.
The Jets were ahead 25-22 on shots after two periods.
Saros stopped a blast by Laine midway through the third and then moved across the crease to deny Ehlers on another chance. At the other end, Hellebuyck grabbed a puck in the crease and pulled it in.
”I felt good even though they got the first one early,” Saros said. ”And then guys sacrificed. We had some big blocks there, they let me see the puck very well, so yeah it felt good.”
The Jets had a power play with eight minutes remaining, but a shot by Laine hit the top of Saros’ stick.
Saros faced a line of Jets barrelling down on him in the last minute, but he stopped a shot by Blake Wheeler.
Shots on goal were even 34-34 after regulation.
Predators: At Calgary Flames on Thursday.
Jets: At St. Louis Blues on Thursday.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports