(SportsNetwork.com) - One day after pulling off a blockbuster trade, the Winnipeg Jets will aim for a third straight victory on Thursday when they visit the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
Controversial winger Evander Kane was the biggest name in Wednesday's multi- player trade with the Buffalo Sabres.
The Jets shipped Kane to Buffalo along with defenseman Zach Bogosian and goaltending prospect Jason Kasdorf in exchange for former Calder Trophy- winning defenseman Tyler Myers and forwards Drew Stafford, Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux. Winnipeg also received a first round draft choice in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Kane, a first-round pick by Atlanta in 2009, is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury that will likely force him to miss the remainder of the season. Before opting for surgery last week the 23-year-old forward reportedly was having trouble getting along with teammates and staff in Winnipeg.
The Jets hope to insert Myers and Stafford, who also were former first-round picks, into the lineup tonight. Armia is expected to report to Winnipeg's American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps, while Lemieux will continue playing in juniors with the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts.
Myers has posted 45 goals and 151 points in 365 NHL games over six seasons. He was the Calder Trophy winner as the league's top rookie in 2009-10. Stafford has appeared in 563 games over nine seasons with Buffalo and has produced 322 points with 145 goals and 177 points.
The Jets have won their last two games on the heels of a season-worst six-game losing streak. The club hasn't made the playoffs since moving from Atlanta prior to the 2011-12 season, but it currently holds the first wild card spot in the Western Conference and leads Calgary by three points.
Winnipeg enters tonight on a four-game point streak (2-0-2) after notching consecutive home wins over Colorado and Minnesota. The Jets beat the Wild, 2-1, in overtime on Tuesday to snap the team's six-game winning streak.
Dustin Byfuglien went coast-to-coast and scored the deciding goal with 1:00 remaining in overtime to deal Minnesota its first loss since Jan. 20. The OT victory moved the Jets seven points ahead of the playoff-hopeful Wild in the West standings.
Winnipeg earned the key extra point thanks to Byfuglien, who created a turnover in the Minnesota zone, went unabated the other way and beat Devan Dubnyk up high with a wrister.
Toby Enstrom scored in regulation while Michael Hutchinson made 29 saves in the win.
"I know definitely tonight was a big win for us," Jets forward Mark Scheifele said. "We've really showed what kind of team we are."
Winnipeg hopes its recent success translates to the road, where it will play two straight and four of their next five games. The Jets are 14-8-6 as the guest, but have lost four straight away from home.
The Predators, who lead the NHL with 78 points, will aim for a fourth straight win tonight.
Nashville began a four-game homestand with a 3-2 overtime win in Tuesday's home test against Tampa Bay. James Neal scored the winning goal with 33 seconds to play in OT, as the Preds claimed their fifth victory in six tries.
With time winding down, Roman Josi was able to chip the puck into the Tampa end where Neal caught up to it in the slot. Holding off a defender, Neal zipped a shot between the pads of Andrei Vasilevskiy for the win.
"Josi made a good play to get it to the middle," said Neal of the goal. "I managed to get it back on my stick there, and just got it on net as quick as I could. It felt good to see it go in."
Seth Jones and Taylor Beck also scored for the Predators, who have won three straight and five of six. Pekka Rinne allowed two goals on 32 shots in the win.
Nashville improved to 22-3-1 as the host after picking up its 11th win in 12 home tilts.
The Preds have won two of three meetings with Winnipeg this season and have claimed seven of 10 overall. The Jets have lost five of their past six road games in the series.