The Nashville Predators’ penalty kill was giving the Winnipeg jets some problems on Tuesday, to put it lightly.
With a 1-0 lead and Mike Fisher marinating in the penalty box after being called for tripping, Nashville ripped off two short-handed goals in a 34-second span on the same Winnipeg powerplay. The speedy tallies set a new franchise standard for the Preds.
Per @EliasSports, this is the first time that the Predators have scored two shorthanded goals on the same penalty in their history.
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) March 14, 2018
First, Austin Watson busted down the wing and zipped one by Michael Hutchinson for his fourth short-handed goal of the season. Before the Jets could soothe the sting, Viktor Arvidsson took advantage of some seriously sloppy Winnipeg puck management and followed up Watson’s effort with a tally just 34 ticks later to put Nashville up 3-0 early.
The goals also set a franchise record for the fastest combo of short-handed goals — crushing the 10-year-old mark of 2:40 set in 2008 against the Calgary Flames.
Nashville and Winnipeg entered the matchup sitting in first and second spots, respectively, in the Central Division, and look poised to meet in the second round of the NHL playoffs in what would be maybe the most anticipated series of the postseason. The Preds have started to pull away as of late, however, boasting a six-point lead over the Jets entering Tuesday.
With Tampa Bay’s shocking 7-4 loss to the Senators and Nashville’s 3-1 victory over Winnipeg, the Predators take over first place in the NHL standings and hit the 100-point plateau for the sixth time since the club joined the league in 1998.