Preds fall to Winnipeg 6-2 in game 5 semifinal

Erika Holt
May 7, 2018

The Nashville Predators were able to win a huge game last night to even the series against the Winnipeg Jets.

Let that sink if for a moment, Winnipeg.

By the time Matthieu Perreault shoveled in a puck from a insane ricochet off the boards it was 6-2, Rinne was pulled and fans were at a loss for words as they headed out.

They made up for that in the second. Both teams are never out of games until it's over. Winnipeg then lost a tough 5-4 overtime decision in Game 2. Game 6 will be played in Winnipeg on Monday night.

The anticipation level for that one over the next 36 hours or so is going to be off the charts.

Nashville shut the Winnipeg stars down with a near flawless effort in game four, but couldn't sustain that level of play beyond the first period of game five. It would have been the crucial opening goal for the Jets in a game they went on to fall behind 2-0 and eventually lose 2-1.

Jets RW Blake Wheeler put up three assists in a 6-2 Game Five win at Nashville; he has 13 points (3 G, 10 A) in 10 playoff games...

Nashville received goals from Ryan Hartman in the first period and P.K. Subban in the second period to provide enough offense to even the series. Rinne showed out with 32 saves.

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Good news for the Jets, as sniper Patrik Laine finally netted his first goal of this series, and first goal since game two of the series against Minnesota.

The period seemed to be slipping further away from Nashville when Viktor Arvidsson went to the box for slashing. The Jets looked exhausted in the first period and that didn't help their plan of improving their play in the neutral zone.

"They will get the puck off their stick very, very quickly", Maurice said.

The Jets held an optional skate and off-ice workout Friday at home, with only the scratches from Game 4 taking a twirl before they flew to Tennessee. Game 6 will be played before their rabid fans at Bell MTS Place, where they have compiled the best home record of any team in the league. "You lose a game in (the) playoffs and we played that well, obviously personally you want to be better". Teams that go deep in the playoffs get big contributions from different players every night and Connor finally stepped up to the plate. "You have to expect that it is going to be a battle right to the end". We're going to win a game, and we're going to come back here. He had 12:46 of ice time and made some good plays with the puck in tight areas.

Head coach Paul Maurice saw the same thing. That might have been more about trying to find some way to get Ehlers going, but whatever the motivation, it sure worked. But a crucial Game 5 on the road in a deadlocked series will be the toughest yet. Their performances? Other than Underwood, not so great. There is a reason we were one and two [in points].

The Preds know the recipe to beating the Jets, but just like singing the anthem it's easier said than done.

Connor Hellebuyck made 38 saves in a winning effort. "We've had our backs against the wall before".

Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune fame and figure skating great Scott Hamilton joined the Small Time Rock Stars on stage to sing Hey Jude between the second and third periods.

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