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Johansen's goal, assist lead Predators over Jets 5-2

Ryan Johansen and Mikael Granlund each scored a goal and assisted on another to lead the Nashville Predators over the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Thursday night.

Eeli Tolvanen, Luke Kunin and Tanner Jeannot also scored for Nashville, which halted a four-game skid. Roman Josi had two assists and Juuse Saros made 36 saves.

Pierre-Luc Dubois and Mark Scheifele scored for Winnipeg, and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 18 shots. Josh Morrissey added two assists.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk, left, scuffles with Nashville Predators left wing Tanner Jeannot during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP PhotoMark Zaleski)

Tolvanen scored 4:43 into the opening period after he tipped Matt Benning’s shot from the right point off the post. The rebound landed on his stick and he buried it into a wide-open net for his sixth goal of the season and first since Dec. 10.

Winnipeg challenged the goal, claiming play should have been stopped due to Tolvanen’s initial deflection being played with a high stick. A video review confirmed the call on the ice.

Granlund made it 2-0 at 11:49 of the first with a wrist shot from the right circle that deflected off Jets defenseman Neal Pionk, who had dropped to a knee in an attempt to block the shot.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) clears the puck away from Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny (25) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP PhotoMark Zaleski)

Johansen concluded the first-period scoring for Nashville, squeezing a wrist shot between Hellebuyck’s pads at 17:35.

Dubois got Winnipeg on the scoreboard at 6:41 of the second.

With the Jets on a two-man advantage, Dubois’ cross-crease pass deflected in off Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier, who slid in an attempt to block it.

Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny (25) attempts to get a shot off between Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) and center Mikael Granlund (64) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP PhotoMark Zaleski)

Kunin restored Nashville’s three-goal lead at 12:22, but Scheifele’s goal 25 seconds into the third drew the Jets back within two.

Jeannot added an empty-netter in the final minute.

ASSIST LEADER

Josi, the Nashville captain, assisted on Granlund’s first-period goal. The assist was the 357th of Josi’s career, moving him past David Legwand for most in franchise history.

Nashville Predators defenseman Matt Benning (5) passes the puck as Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny (25) defends during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP PhotoMark Zaleski)

It didn’t take long for Josi to put some more distance between himself and Legwand, as he assisted on Johansen’s goal six minutes after setting the record.

Thursday was career game No. 720 for Josi, all with the Predators. Legwand, the team's first draft pick when it entered the NHL in 1998, set his mark in 956 games with the Predators.

EKHOLM RETURNS

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) covers up the puck as Nashville Predators left wing Tanner Jeannot (84) moves in during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP PhotoMark Zaleski)

Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm returned to the lineup after missing three games, all Nashville losses, in COVID-19 protocol. Entering the game, Ekholm ranked second on the Predators in average ice time. His 23:20 per game trails only Josi’s 25:05 among Nashville skaters.

UP NEXT

Jets: Visit the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

Nashville Predators left wing Tanner Jeannot (84) and Winnipeg Jets left wing Kyle Connor (81) reach for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP PhotoMark Zaleski)

Predators: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

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