Filip Forsberg's scoring binge has helped solidify the Nashville Predators' playoff position, while Mark Scheifele is emerging as the bright spot in the Winnipeg Jets' otherwise lost season.
The young forwards each look to continue their hot stretches in Tuesday night's matchup in Winnipeg, where the surging Predators enter on a franchise-record 12-game point streak.
Nashville (33-21-12) has taken a firm hold on the Western Conference's first wild-card spot by winning six of seven and going 8-0-4 since Feb. 12. It further distanced itself from ninth-place Colorado with a 5-2 comeback victory Saturday in Denver, scoring four unanswered third-period goals to move ahead.
"It was very noticeable from my eyes the resiliency in the group (Saturday), which has made us very successful as of late as well," center Ryan Johansen told the Predators' official website. "That was a huge win in their building, knowing the circumstances of the standings right now."
Forsberg aided the rally with his eighth goal over a six-game span in which he's notched two hat tricks. The 21-year-old's 14 goals and 21 points since Feb. 6 are both tops in the NHL.
He's not the only one producing for Nashville, which has totaled 19 goals over its last four. Craig Smith has eight points during that run playing on a line with Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro, who's recorded a goal and six assists over a four-game point streak.
"Every line can score," Smith said. "You don't have to really worry. You can get goals from everywhere, and that's what we need."
Forsberg's nine goals and 14 points since Feb. 18 are tied for the league lead with Scheifele, who's given Winnipeg (27-33-5) a needed boost following captain Andrew Ladd's trade to Chicago and Bryan Little's season-ending back injury. The 22-year-old has six goals over a three-game streak, following his first career hat trick in Saturday's 4-2 win over Montreal with the team's lone score in Sunday's 2-1 loss to Edmonton.
The Jets lost for the eighth time in 10 games despite registering 40 shots.
''We had some really good chances to score, but our mentality needs to be to create more traffic,'' center Adam Lowry said. ''Our defense did a great job tonight getting pucks to the net. It's on the forwards to get those second and third opportunities.''
Winnipeg's offensive struggles could continue with the Predators receiving strong work from goaltenders Pekka Rinne and Carter Hutton, both of whom figure to draw starts in a back-to-back set concluding Wednesday in Calgary. Rinne improved to 6-0-2 with a 1.72 goals-against average over his last eight starts with 34 saves against Colorado, while Hutton is 4-0-1 with a 1.19 GAA over his past five and has won three straight on the road.
Nashville, which has won five straight and nine of 10 as the visitor, has split four season matchups with the Jets and earned points in both visits to Winnipeg. Rinne made 26 saves in a 4-1 win on Jan. 21, one week after the Jets posted a 5-4 overtime victory.
Nashville's James Neal has three goals and three assists in the season series and 16 goals in his last 19 games against the Winnipeg franchise. Johansen has two goals and five assists in the past three meetings with the Jets.