Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Winnipeg Jets remain unbeaten at home in playoffs

Winnipeg Jets managed to carry away in the rear-view mirror a crushing double overtime loss.

Now they are hoping to do the same after a terrific victory.

The Jets are leading their second round of the playoffs with Nashville Predators 2-1 after winning a dramatic 7-4 victory on Tuesday 3 games despite a 3-0 backlog after the first period.

Winnipeg recoiled with four goals - including three in less than three minutes - at the deafening Bell MTS Place in the second. Predators tied things 4-4 in a power game in the third, but Jets received the late winner on a man's own advantage, before sealing it with two empty net targets.

And, like the answer to the 5-4 double win in Nashville in Game 2 that equalized the 1-1 West Conference semi-final, Winnipeg hopes to catch this emotional night and move forward.

For many unchecked jets on Tuesday, it seemed that in the playoffs, fast-moving hockey could change with the fourth.

"Maybe it does not matter if you drop 3-0 after the first, you can still win the game," said Winnipeg's sniper Patrick Line, who still has to score in the series. "Momentum will change many times during the game, and there are many things that can happen.

"Just remember to stay with him and play your game for 60 minutes, and you will always have a chance to win."

At the same time, Predators will seek to use the experience made in the Stanley Cup final last season as a way to recover from the shock that caused this great advantage.

20 goals united by teams over the last two games usually mean that Vezina Trophy's candidates Connor Hellerbuek from Winnipeg and Neckville Pekka Rinne fought.

But this is not so-except for two of the three goals Hellebuyck allowed in the first period of play 3-with teams ready to push the pace, sometimes at the expense of a defensive structure at the other end.

Winnipeg took second place in the regular season with 273 goals, while Nashville was 12 in the tie for seventh place. The teams teamed up for 41 goals in five games in 2017-18, with a 3-1 Jet victory in March as the only game that did not have at least eight goals.

"This series is not fun for the goalkeeper," said Hellboyk, who stopped Victor Arvidson in the lead with a 4-4 score in Game 3. "I just need to play better than the guy from me. We are a great team. We have all aspects. If we need to win the game 10-9, we could as well. I'm fine with that.

"A little worsening statistics, but at the end of the day, especially at this time of year, winnings - all this is important."

The two best teams in the NHL during the regular season - in Nashville for the first time were 117 points, four better than in Winnipeg - are not yet disappointed in terms of the cost of entertainment, and there is no reason to expect something else Thursday in the series that already saw his share of twists.

"In any of our games there is no way out, and that's what we like about this series," said Helleboyk. "The NHL gets everything they want - a lot of grievances and a very addictive game to watch."

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