Published: Mon, April 30, 2018
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

Rinne doesn't make it through Game 1 of Jets - Predators

Rinne doesn't make it through Game 1 of Jets - Predators

The Preds are already under the gun following Friday night's loss. Kevin Fiala's tap-in goal 1:23 into the third period of Game 1 snapped a stretch of just over eight consecutive scoreless periods for Hellebuyck.

"No, I don't think there's any such thing as a stranglehold against this team", Little said. His first Predators' team met the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round and fell in six games, including one double overtime and another in triple overtime.

The Nashville Predators came out of the gate firing on all cylinders.

Both of these teams had an easier time in the first round, the Jets won in five games, while the Predators won in six games. "It's hard to score on those guys unless you have traffic, second and third opportunities and plays around the front of the net".

"There's no steals in (the) playoffs", said center Mark Scheifele, who scored two goals for the Jets on Friday night.

"It's going to be a long series".

"Yeah, I thought we played well", said captain Roman Josi. "It's gonna be a really tough series and a tight series so I think that's why everyone's so excited about it". We had a good first period and kind of followed it up.

"There was a lot of shots I felt were from the outside. You could tell early on if he was seeing the puck he was going to make the stops". Hellebuyck had recorded back-to-back shutouts to complete the five-game series win in the first round against Minnesota, so he is red-hot right now.

Tanev scored the game's first goal at 14:51 of the opening period.

Heading into the much-anticipated Western Conference semifinal between Nashville and Winnipeg, a lot of talk centred around the high-powered offences that helped the Predators and Jets finish 1-2 in the NHL's overall standings.

After withstanding a strong Nashville push to begin the game, Bryan Little forced a turnover in the neutral zone and outbattled Predators defenceman Alexei Emelin in the right circle before sending a backhand pass toward Tanev at the left goal-post. Predators goalie Pekka Rinne was pulled after the second period after giving up three goals on 16 shots.

Rinne is also a Vezina finalist.

Winnipeg (+155) is entering this one as the underdog to Nashville (-175), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. Hellebuyck could see the majority of the shots he faced and that needs to change for Nashville.

"Yeah, but we got to win hockey games", said Predators coach Peter Laviolette.

"You give me two choices on where to be, our game or their win, I'd take the win", Laviolette said. He has three assists in seven playoff games, all coming in wins.

The Predators kept shooting away with Hellebuyck making every save, and the Jets proved very opportunistic.

Stastny doubled the Jets lead at 9:01 of the second. It was an incredible effort by Nikolaj Ehlers who raced the puck up the ice and found Patrik Laine in front and Stastny put home the rebound.

Filip Forsberg, Nashville's postseason scoring leader, hit the post on the power play with 3:31 left. The case can be made that majority of the shots were not high quality.

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