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Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets cruise past Nashville Predators

By Connor Grott
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck makes a glove save on a shot. Hellebuyck made 37 saves against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/710d220f394a971f06a941a904541f28/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck makes a glove save on a shot. Hellebuyck made 37 saves against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The Winnipeg Jets scored first and didn't look back, defeating the Nashville Predators 5-1 on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

The Jets (31-14-2) extended their winning streak to four games and increased their Central Division lead over Nashville (28-17-4) to four points following the victory.

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Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck steadied Winnipeg with 37 saves on 38 shots (.974 save percentage). The Predators edged the Jets in shots on goal (38 to 34) but struggled to figure out Hellebuyck.

Predators goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 29 shots for a .853 save percentage.

Brendan Lemieux gave the Jets a 1-0 lead midway through the first period on a wraparound. Winnipeg forward Mason Appleton added his second goal of the season 3:36 into the second period for a 2-0 advantage.

Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson answered with Nashville's first score of the contest to make it 2-1 in the second frame. Arvidsson finished a rebound chance for his sixth goal in the last five games and 18th goal of the season.

Jets center Bryan Little notched his 11th score of the year with 46 seconds remaining in the second period.

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Brandon Tanev made it 4-1 on a redirection from a shot by Sami Niku, and Lemieux sealed the game with his second goal of the night with 4:32 left in the third.

Nashville hosts the Florida Panthers (17-20-8) on Saturday night. The Jets stay on the road for a game against the Dallas Stars (23-21-4) on Saturday.

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