The Nashville Predators have labored to return to the consistent form they showed during their strong start, but they'll next face a team that's been struggling even more.
The Winnipeg Jets will seek to avoid a fifth consecutive defeat when they visit Nashville on Saturday night.
The Predators are 2-2-2 since opening 7-1-1, and they have alternated wins and losses in their last four games. They blew a one-goal lead in the third period against visiting Toronto on Thursday and lost 2-1 in a shootout.
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Shea Weber scored his fourth goal in six games for Nashville, which finished with 22 shots for its lowest total since Oct. 13.
"I didn't think it was our best effort," forward Mike Fisher told the team's official website. "I think we can play better in a lot of different areas. It wasn't like we were bad. We get (Weber's) goal in the third and we got to try to shut them down, but it was one of those games."
The Jets (8-7-2) are 0-3-1 in their last four and have been outscored by a combined 14-6 in three consecutive regulation defeats. They've given up 11 goals in the first two of four straight road games, including a 6-3 loss to Dallas on Thursday after allowing the go-ahead goal on a power play with 5:55 to play.
"I think we just need to keep fighting together. That's the biggest key is just not to get down, not let the adversity get the best of us," said Blake Wheeler, who scored for a second straight game. "It's our first tough test this year. We're going to have to get through it together."
The Jets gave up two goals in their four times short-handed against the Stars and went 0 for 4 with the man advantage, dropping to 1 for 18 on the power play in six games this month.
"When your power play's on, there's a certain quickness to it, the way pucks get to the net, the traffic that you get in front of the net," coach Paul Maurice said. "We didn't have a whole lot of that going on. ... It turns on the power plays."
Nashville's penalty kill has proved vulnerable lately with six goals allowed in the past 15 opposing power plays.
The Predators (9-3-3) were 3-2-0 against the Jets in 2014-15, but Winnipeg won 3-1 at Nashville on March 7 in the teams' last meeting for just its second win in the franchise's last eight games at Bridgestone Arena.
That victory also marked the Jets' first when Pekka Rinne has started in the Predators' net. He is 7-1-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average in eight lifetime starts in the all-time series.
Nashville leading scorer James Neal hasn't registered a goal in five games this month but has scored 13 in 17 career games against the Jets, his most against any opponent.
Wheeler had a team-best three goals and two assists in last season's series. He has eight goals and five assists in 14 lifetime matchups.