NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After consecutive strong games, Ondrej Pavelec has the Winnipeg Jets in the chase for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Pavalec made 39 saves in a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday, and coach Paul Maurice knows his goalie has been on a hot streak.
"He's played the same way, believe it or not, prior to. He's had a big stretch of really good games, and every once in a while, he'll play a game like he did (Saturday)," Maurice said. "Clearly he made some great saves, but I also thought we were pretty good clearing it out."
Pavalec had 34 saves in the Jets previous game, a 3-2 victory over Phoenix on Thursday.
The Jets, ranked sixth in the NHL in penalty kills coming into the game, didn't allow a goal on six Nashville power plays.
One of the Predators' strengths has been converting man-advantage chances. Entering the game, they were fifth in the league, but Pavelec stopped Nashville on each power play.
"Yeah, we didn't have any interest in playing with that fire," Maurice said. "We'll take a look at the ones we did give, and we have penalties that we have to avoid taking. Then we also have to recognize our penalty kills are pretty darn good."
Simon Moser scored his first NHL goal for Nashville. He also scored in the Sochi Olympics playing for Switzerland.
"That was then, at the Olympics, and now is now," Moser said. "I just try to do my best and keep going that way."
The Jets improved 11-3-1 since hiring Maurice as coach.
Olli Jokinen put the Jets on the board at 5:02 of the second period when he beat Nashville goalie Carter Hutton with a wrist shot for his 14th of the season.
Jacob Trouba and Evander Kane assisted on the play when Winnipeg took advantage of a bad Nashville line change.
Trouba collected the puck in his own end and fired a long pass to Jokinen on the left side.