Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Preview
Nashville at Winnipeg
When: 9:30 PM ET, Monday, May 7, 2018
Where: Bell MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Winnipeg Jets stand one victory away from the Western Conference finals and have two shots to knock out the Nashville Predators, starting with Monday’s Game 6 at home after yet another offensive explosion in Saturday’s 6-2 road triumph. The Jets, who were stymied in a frustrating Game 4 loss on home ice, broke loose to take a 3-2 series lead as the top line of Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor combined for three goals and eight points.

Wheeler told reporters Sunday after the Jets returned to Winnipeg that knocking out the Predators - who took Pittsburgh to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals last June - will not be easy, while adding: “What we’re focused on is what’s given us success all year long, that’s just finding a way to win one hockey game.” Nashville got the start it wanted in Game 5, dominating play for most of the first period, but could not score in the opening frame before the Jets netted four goals in the middle period. The loss dropped the Predators to 1-2 on home ice in the series, but Nashville coach Peter Laviolette’s team already has won one game in Winnipeg this series and must do so again to extend its season. “This group’s been built for a game like the one that’s coming up,” Laviolette told reporters after Saturday’s loss. “I’ve got a tremendous amount of confidence. I believe in them.”

TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, CBC, TVA

ABOUT THE PREDATORS: Nashville will look to repeat the recipe that led to a 2-1 victory at Winnipeg in Game 4 - get an early lead and then dominate the neutral zone. Goaltender Pekka Rinne served up another subpar performance, allowing three goals in a 4:31 span of the second period to turn a 1-1 game into a 4-1 deficit, and after two goals early in the third was pulled again in favor of Juuse Saros. Some of Nashville’s key players struggled in Game 5, including Victor Arvidsson and Austin Watson, who both finished minus-3.

ABOUT THE JETS: Connor set a franchise record for most points in a playoff game by a rookie, scoring his first two goals of the postseason in the pivotal second-period stretch, and assisted on Scheifele’s goal 28 seconds into the third period. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 38 saves on the night, and a determined defense which blocked 16 shots survived a 20-shot onslaught by Nashville in the third period. Forward Mathieu Perreault, who had missed the past eight games with an injury, scored a goal in his return and gave the Jets a much-needed boost.

OVERTIME

1. Nashville C Ryan Johansen scored his fifth goal of the playoffs in Game 5, and with 11 points is one behind F Filip Forsberg for the team lead.

2. Scheifele scored his ninth goal in 10 postseason games Saturday and leads the Jets with 14 points, one ahead of Wheeler.

3. Nashville D P.K. Subban told reporters he expects a Game 7, saying, “We had to go to Winnipeg anyway, so we are going to go there and win a game and come back here.”

PREDICTION: Jets 4, Predators 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Nashville 59-23-4-7 L1 31-12-1-3 28-11-3-4 4-1-0-1 55-22-4-6 24-10-1-2
Winnipeg 59-22-9-2 W1 36-8-2-0 23-14-7-2 6-3-0-0 53-19-9-2 22-11-3-0
Last Meeting
Nashville Winnipeg
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
5/5/18 WIN 6 NAS 2 40 26 0-1 32 38 1-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Nashville R. Johansen 1
Winnipeg K. Connor 3
Goals Player  
Nashville R. Johansen 1
Winnipeg K. Connor 2
Assists Player  
Nashville P. Aberg 0
Winnipeg B. Wheeler 3
Saves Player  
Nashville P. Rinne 20
Winnipeg C. Hellebuyck 38
Season
Total Points Player  
Nashville F. Forsberg 78
Winnipeg B. Wheeler 107
Goals Player  
Nashville V. Arvidsson 33
Winnipeg P. Laine 52
Assists Player  
Nashville P. Subban 50
Winnipeg B. Wheeler 81
Saves Player  
Nashville P. Rinne 2064
Winnipeg C. Hellebuyck 2247
Quickchart Matchup
Nashville Off vs  Winnipeg Def
3.19 GF
2.6 GA
32.7 Shots
31.8 Shots
65 PP
57 PK
Winnipeg Off vs  Nashville Def
3.38 GF
2.59 GA
32.5 Shots
32.4 Shots
71 PP
60 PK