Pekka Rinne made 32 saves and the surging Nashville Predators scored two short-handed goals in beating the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Tuesday night to tie for the top spot in the NHL standings.
Kevin Fiala, Austin Watson and Viktor Arvidsson had the goals for Nashville, which has won 11 of 12.
The Predators reached 100 points in 69 games, the fastest mark in franchise history. The defending Western Conference champions are even with Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay – and Nashville has played one fewer game.
Kyle Connor scored for the Jets, losers of three straight. Winnipeg fell eight points behind the first-place Predators in the Central Division.
Nashville scored three goals before the game was nine minutes old. Playing the finale of a six-game road trip, their longest of the season, and their second game in two nights, the Jets came out sluggish against the speedy Predators.
Fiala scored the first goal at 2:48 of the opening period.
Roman Josi carried the puck up centre ice before sending a pass to Kyle Turris on the right side. Turris returned the pass to Josi as he continued through the slot and he immediately fed a trailing Fiala with a backhand pass. He had an open net, and he buried a snap shot up high for his 22nd goal of the season.
Watson and Arvidsson scored short-handed goals 34 seconds apart on the same penalty kill to make it 3-0. It was the first time in Predators history that they scored short-handed twice on the same power play.
Jets coach Paul Maurice called a basketball-style timeout following Arvidsson's goal. Following the stoppage, Connor Hellebuyck took over in goal for starter Michael Hutchinson. After the first period, the team announced that Hutchinson would not return due to an upper-body injury. Hutchinson stopped 12 of the 15 shots he faced in 8:45 of action.
Nashville poured 24 shots on the Winnipeg net in the first, its most in a period this season.
Hellebuyck made 30 saves in relief.
Connor got Winnipeg on the scoreboard at 1:08 of the third with a power-play goal when he tapped in the rebound of Blake Wheeler's shot from the right side.
Patrik Laine picked up an assist on Connor's goal, extending his franchise-record point streak to 13 games.
Watson also did some strong work in his defensive zone to help Rinne. With just more than eight minutes gone in the third, he cleared a puck that was headed into the net after Rinne got a piece of a shot from Laine.
NOTES: Watson's four short-handed goals this season place him one behind NHL leader Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers. ... Nashville is 34-3-5 when scoring first. ... Winnipeg successfully killed off all three Nashville power plays. The Jets have not allowed an opponent to score on the man advantage in five of their last six games. ... Jets C Paul Stastny was a late scratch.
Jets: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
Predators: At the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.