Predators start to pull away
For most of the campaign the Central Division was a three-horse race between the Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets and the St. Louis Blues.
Crunch time has arrived and while the Blues have cratered rather spectacularly to fall to sixth in the Division and the Jets have maintained their form nicely, the Predators have kicked it up another gear - winning eight in a row to take a six-point advantage over Winnipeg atop the standings.
Sunday Nashville secured their third successive victory of the season over the Colorado Avalanche, but were made to work for it before prevailing 4-3 in overtime at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Filip Forsberg scored early in the extra frame after Ryan Ellis had tied proceedings late in the third as the Predators maintained their momentum.
Nashville has scored at least four goals in seven of their eight victories and now heads home to the Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday to welcome in the Dallas Stars.
It's the first of four games in Nashville with the Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils and the Winnipeg Jets to follow.
Winnipeg was also in the win column on Sunday as they opened a six-game road swing with a 3-2 defeat of the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena in Raleigh.
The match-up with the Predators will come at the end of their trip, but first the Jets take on the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals in what should be a challenging trip.
Nashville are 4999/1 to win the Western Conference and 4999/1 to claim the Stanley Cup for the first time in their franchise history.
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