Nashville goalie Juuse Saros was outstanding in his first start for new coach John Hynes on Sunday afternoon, registering 28 saves in the Predators’ 1-0 win over the host Winnipeg Jets.
The backup to No. 1 netminder Pekka Rinne, Saros (6-7-4) recorded his first shutout of the season and eighth of his career in front of Hynes, who won for the second time in three games since being hired by Nashville as the franchise’s third head coach on Tuesday.
Kyle Turris’ first-period goal proved to be enough for the Predators, who won their second straight and broke a four-game losing streak against Winnipeg. Yakov Trenin claimed the lone assist, but captain Roman Josi’s career-best 12-game point streak came to an end.
Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck, after starting six straight games and getting Thursday’s match in Boston off, made 31 saves and fell to 20-13-4.
Winnipeg lost its sixth consecutive home game (0-5-1) and has been outscored 28-13 in that stretch.
Nashville generated most of the offense in the first half of the opening period — holding a 10-3 shot advantage at one point — but Saros kept it scoreless by denying Andrew Copp on a short-handed breakaway attempt at 5:48.
The Predators cashed in on a poor pass by Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry at the half-boards in the Jets’ end. Trenin intercepted the cross-ice feed and dished the puck to Turris, who potted his sixth goal at 11:53.
Turris, a three-time 20-goal scorer with the Ottawa Senators, hadn’t tallied in his previous 16 games. His last marker was Dec. 3 against Tampa Bay after being a healthy scratch for seven consecutive games.
Winnipeg mustered just eight shots in the first 23 minutes, and a power play three minutes into the second period produced just two more shots on goal. Nashville’s defense continued to clamp down in the frame’s remainder, and the Jets fired only eight more shots on Saros as the period ended.
The home side started the third period down a defenseman as Tucker Poolman was ruled out with a lower-body injury, but the Jets went on a power play at 8:19 when Matt Duchene went off for hooking. However, Winnipeg managed only one shot on the man advantage.
The Jets pulled Hellebuyck for the extra skater in the closing minutes, but Saros and the defense protected the win.
—Field Level Media