Predators shut out Jets, force Game 7
- Author: Julie Sanders May 08, 2018,
May 08, 2018, 15:32
For the second time in this series, and third time in this post season, Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne was pulled in a game.
The Predators and Jets had gone toe-to-toe offensively through three games, but facing a near must-win game in a hostile and raucous Bell MTS Place, Nashville chose to simplify its approach after pulling in front, content to chip pucks out and let the Jets try to counter through a clogged neutral zone.
To do that, they'll have to break the pattern from the first five games of this series, during which the Central Division rivals had alternated victories.
After a missed opportunity for the Penguins, Ovechkin led the rush back up the ice for the Capitals and flipped the puck right in front of Vrana, who finished it off for a lovely go-ahead goal.
While the young Europeans work through the ups and downs of the playoff grind, they need only look to their centre to catch a glimpse of a guy making a major difference.
Jakub Vrana didn't start Game 5 on the top line, but after Devante Smith-Pelly took two tripping penalties in the second period, coach Barry Trotz put Vrana with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Vrana said on the broadcast after the game that he thought Ovechkin was going to shoot it, but he was there to send it home. "You had one job!" wrote Twitter user Kelvin Goertzen.
As a result, LaBossiere says, "These relationships only increased the reasons we wanted to engage in a friendly competition between our firms to up the stakes a bit".
The easy thing to do from a Predators perspective is point the finger sharply in the direction of starting goalie Pekka Rinne given his.898 save percentage for the postseason, a number that drops down to an even worse.886 in this series alone. It was the fourth time in six games that the road team has won in the series. "That's the type of player he is and from Game 1 of the playoffs, he has just dominated".
In Game 5 it was four goals in 10 minutes, including three in a five-minute stretch in the first period. Win in game seven or it'll be all over until October.
"I said what everyone in the dressing room was thinking", Subban told NHL.com after the victory.
Seven different Jets players have at least four points against Nashville. Wheeler joked. "A kiss, not a lick". The Jets did manage to beat the Predators in the faceoff circle - leading 12-9 in puckdrops through 20 minutes of play. Arvidsson re-directed in the shot past Hellebuyck.
The potential goal was waved off immediately, but the call on the ice was correctly overturned just 62 seconds into the contest.
Blake Wheeler, Nik Ehlers and Dustin Byfuglien all had quality chances offered up in the direction of Rinne, but solid goaltending by the Nashville tendy kept the puck out of the Predators' net for the remainder of the period.
Nashville extended their lead 5:55 into the final frame.
The best chance for the Jets in the opening period was courtesy of Bryan Little, but he was stopped by the left pad of Rinne.
With the Predators up 1-0 after one period, Forsberg doubled the lead at 8:44 of the second on a great solo rush for his sixth of the postseason.
Washington has been eliminated in second round in each of the last three seasons, with the last two coming at the hands of the Penguins. Arvidsson and Forsberg each scored two apiece.
This back-and-forth series has yet to see a team win consecutive games. Defenceman Dmitry Kulikov sat out with an injury.