If the Preds want to win, they need to stay out of shootouts

The best shot the Nashville Predators have at beating the Washington Capitals on Saturday is to make sure the game does not go to a shootout.

Through the first two months of the season, the Predators have been one of the NHL’s worst in the tiebreaking procedure. They are the only Western Conference team and one of four overall that have yet to earn a point in that manner. Washington, on the other hand, has won more than any other.

(Through Thursday)

Nashville 0-3
Ottawa  0-3
Detroit 0-4
New Jersey 0-5

(Through Thursday)

Washington 6-2
Los Angeles 5-2
Winnipeg 5-3
Phoenix 4-2
Chicago 4-2

The reason for Nashville’s struggles is obvious.

In order to win a shootout a team must convert more often than the opponent. The Predators have not found the back of the net in any of their three shootouts, including one against Phoenix that went five rounds.

(Through Thursday)

Ottawa 0.0 percent (0-8)

Nashville 0.0 percent (0-11)

New Jersey 5.9 percent (1-17)

Detroit 8.3 percent (1-12)

Vancouver 13.3 percent (2-15)

“Our goalies have been pretty good,” coach Barry Trotz said. “We haven’t scored any goals for our goalies in shootouts. … That’s on us.”

Nashville and Washington, which play Saturday in D.C. (6 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee), have gone to a shootout twice in their last six meetings. The Capitals won both and are one of five teams the Predators never have bested in a shootout.