The Jets had their fans inside Bell MTS Place supporting the team while it was a raucous atmosphere in Nashville inside Bridgestone Arena
The 1st period had a likely and unlikely hero emerge for the Jets as Connor Hellebuyck put up 20 saves to blank the Predators while at the other end of the ice Brandon Tanev got his second of the post-season to open the scoring in the game. After 20 minutes Winnipeg was up 1-0 while being outshot 20-4.
Middle frame wasn’t as disproportionate in shots as Nashville held an edge but it was just 16-12 and Winnipeg managed to score twice as Paul Stastny finished off a beautiful rush by Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele scored his fifth of the playoffs on a drop pass by Blake Wheeler right after Winnipeg had killed a Wheeler penalty.
Final frame began with a goalie change as Preds pulled Rinne for Saros. Seemed to work as Kevin Fiala finished off a nice sequence by the home side to make it a two-goal Winnipeg lead and brought the crowd back into the game. But that was as close as they came with Mark Scheifele burying his second of the game (sixth of the playoffs) to make it 4-1 for Winnipeg.
Connor Hellebuyck was sensational making 47 saves on 48 shots.
This was the first ever second round win for an NHL team based in Winnipeg. The two previous times they made it the Jets were swept by the Oilers.
Take a look at the advanced stats via Natural Stat Trick.
Coach Maurice: Did they steal a win tonight? Where does tonight’s performance by Connor Hellebuyck rank? Changing up the bottom six. What was the bench like when they were weathering the storm in the 1st period? What does it do for the confidence after giving up that many shots/losing faceoffs? How would he describe his team’s quick strike ability? Sign of growth how team reacted after giving up early 3rd period goal?
Audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.