They're having flashes of greatness that got them the Presidents' Trophy, but are still too streaky.
The thing about Winnipeg and Laine's line specifically is that they're going to their shots. It was the Jets defensemen who outplayed the highly touted Predators d-men tonight.
If they were still wary after the Predators first period domination, their fears were calmed a couple minutes later.
Center Nick Bonino said he couldn't remember the 6-5 win because it was so long ago, but he was sure they played a "solid" road game, as they did all year long. Byfuglien would put the Jets ahead when he scored his second of the game in the final minute of the period. Kevin Fiala, the overtime hero of game two, committed an obvious trip along the boards in the neutral zone. With the teams staking 4-on-4, Byfuglien skated in from the left circle before beating Rinne with a wrist shot between the pads. He's been under a lot of pressure and hasn't looked comfortable in the saves he does make. The Jets have not lost at home since Nashville beat them 6-5 on February 27 - that's 13 straight wins.
He said with the number of people living downtown already climbing, these parties are just another sign of the progress that has been made. They're managing to survive despite not having rock-solid goaltending. Both teams have had their offenses going in this series and I will look for that to continue here.
The Jets took the lead into the intermission. It finally took off and propelled the Predators to a win in Game 2. They drew even on a screen-shot, power-play goal from Filip Forsberg at the 7:40 mark of the final period. Paul Stastny had a goal and two assists is just 16 minutes and 41 seconds and was plus three.
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The big defenseman celebrated by removing a glove and dancing - a far cry from the playful punches he threw at teammates after Winnipeg tied Game 2 late in regulation. In the first two games, the Jets played like the much more comfortable team.
"We just went out there and played a little bit faster and played with a little bit more confidence". The Jets have gone 35-9 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.82 gpg and have allowed 2.36 gpg in those games. Byfugien fired a slapshot past Rinne with 14:32 remaining to pull the home team within one. Suddenly we won't be talking about all of the pressure being on the Predators.
The Nashville Predators started the game off hot, scoring on their first shot of the game on a goal from Ryan Johansen. He registered at least one point in every game, including four goals and seven points for the series. We mentioned some of the drivers in this game already but how about defenceman Jacob Trouba coming up with a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight) in a playoff game? Well, unless you cheer for the Predators or the Jets, in which case you'll be sprouting more than a few gray hairs this week. I'm seeing a score of 2-1 in favor of the Predators behind a strong defensive effort in front of Rinne.
You can catch game three of the Preds' series with the Jets Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on CNBC, CBC or TVA Sports. With these two teams so evenly matched, taking the underdog all series could turn out to be a profitable strategy.
Winnipeg has a very rowdy crowd, but what may be tougher for the Predators to overcome is the matchups that Jets coach Paul Maurice will try and dictate. New Yorker Don Carson, his brother and nephew converged on Winnipeg from three American coasts - the others came from south Texas and OR - to be in the building for Game 3.