Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Craig Smith scored the game-winning goal with 2:02 left in regulation and head coach Peter Laviolette won his 400th game as the Nashville Predators defeated the Winnipeg Jets. 2-1, on Saturday.
Calle Jarnkrok emerged from behind the net with the puck and fired a shot from the left circle. Jarnkrok retrieved the rebound in the high slot and dished the puck to Smith, who snapped a shot short side past a sliding Ondrej Pavelec for the deciding goal.
The Jets pulled Pavelec with 1:44 to play, but were unable to force an extra session.
James Neal tied the game in the second period and Pekka Rinne stopped 21-of-22 shots for Nashville, which has won four of its last five games.
"I was happy to see the way we came out and played defensively," Laviolette said. "It was great that Craig was able to capitalize."
Blake Wheeler supplied Winnipeg's lone marker and Pavelec made 27 saves in defeat. The Jets entered the game having registered at least a point in nine of their last 10 games (7-1-2).
"Tough loss. It was the game we expected," Jets head coach Paul Maurice said. "There wasn't a whole lot to go around tonight."
Winnipeg opened the scoring with a short-handed goal as Wheeler's rising wrister beat Rinne on the glove side 6:57 into the second.
Neal one-timed Mike Ribeiro's cross-ice pass from the right circle to tie the game with less than five minutes to play in the middle stanza.
The Predators also defeated the Jets 2-0 on Oct. 17 before losing 3-1 on Nov. 4. The two teams will resume the season series on Feb. 12 ... Nashville went 0-for-4 on the power play and wasn't called for a single penalty.