The Nashville Predators could not defeat the visiting Arizona Coyotes in regulation at the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, but did eventually pick up two points with a 3-2 shootout triumph.
It was the second close game between the two teams after the Coyotes won 3-2 in overtime when they met on January 4th at the Gila River Arena in Glendale.
Thursday Ryan Ellis scored with two and a half minutes to play in regulation with Kyle Turris and Craig Smith both scoring in the shootout to help push the Predators past the Winnipeg Jets and into first place in the Central Division.
The fourth contest of Nashville's current five-game home stand is on Saturday when the Florida Panthers are the visitors into town, before the Predators host the Tampa Bay Lightning early next week.
It will be instructive to see how the Lightning perform against the Predators, this being their first match-up, having already swept the St. Louis Blues this campaign and won their only game against Winnipeg.
The Predators are 5000.00 to win the Western Conference, with the Jets 1.64 and the Calgary Flames 6001.00.
Meanwhile, the Jets continue to cool their heels in their bye week before playing the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Winnipeg plays three of their next four away from home, heading back to the Bell MTS Place to entertain the Vancouver Canucks before taking in the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks in California next week.
Not to be outdone, the Blues moved even with Winnipeg in the Central Division standings on Thursday with a 4-1 triumph over the Senators at the Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa.
On paper the next four games for St. Louis should give the opportunity for maximum points as they host the Coyotes, Senators, Colorado Avalanche and the Montreal Canadiens at the Scottrade Center.
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