Rogers' 10* TOTAL MASSACRE (Thurs) >> 30-18-1 Overall L12 Days!
Nashville vs. Winnipeg,
05/03/2018 21:30 EDT,
Score: 2 - 1
Total: -103/+6 Under
The set-up: The Nashville Predators were just the 8th-seed out of the West last season but made a run all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals before falling in six games to the Penguins, who won a second straight title. The Preds built on last season's playoff run and won the Presidents' Trophy this season with 117 points. However, Nashville promptly lost its home ice edge in Game 1 against Winnipeg, with the Jets skating to a 4-1 victory. The Preds needed two OTs to win Game 2 and went to Winnipeg tied one-all. With a three-goal first period lead, there can be little doubt that many members of the Predators were convinced it was just a matter of 40 minutes until they reclaimed home-ice advantage in their second-round playoff series against the Jets. However, the unfathomable happened, as the Winnipeg Jets did not panic when they fell behind by three goals. The Jets scored three times in a 2:51 span of the second period en route to a 7-4 victory in Game 3, riding two goals each from Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The resulting offensive breakthrough has put them in position to take control of the Western Conference semifinals entering Thursday’s Game 4 at home.
Nashville: "We stopped playing, clear as day,” Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis told the media afterward. “You could see that, and you can’t win hockey games when you stop playing midway through the second.” Goals from Mike Fisher, P.K. Subban and Austin Watson staked the Predators to the early advantage but Nashville only put 18 shots on goal in the final two periods and were outshot 45-30 on the night. Forward Filip Forsberg tied the game in the third period at 4-4 with his fifth goal of the playoffs but the Jets scored the final three goals of the game. The Predators were penalized five times in the final 20 minutes and goaltender Pekka Rinne, who drew a slashing penalty out of frustration with 4:29 left, made 38 saves but gave up four goals on 16 shots in the second period.
Winnipeg: "Nobody panicked,” Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba told reporters in referencing a 3-0 Nashville lead after the first period, adding that Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice simply told his players during intermission to, “just go play hockey.” Center Mark Scheifele continues to shine, picking up two assists to give him 11 points (seven goals) in his past five games. Byfuglien finished with a three-point night and has five in the series, while Wheeler and center Paul Stastny (one goal, two assists) also collected three points as Winnipeg pounded Nashville with 35 shots in the final 40 minutes. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck gave up three goals in the opening period Tuesday and has surrendered nine in the past two games. However, he settled down in stopping 18 of Nashville’s final 19 shots.
The pick: Winnipeg is one goal in double-overtime (Game 2) away from holding a 3-0 series lead, while the more experienced Predators have not only lost home ice advantage for now, but also lost their composure by taking three minors in the final nine minutes Tuesday. We've seen back-to-back games with finals of 5-4 and 7-4 but in this critical game, expect none of that. Each team features a Vezina Trophy finalist, Pekka Rinne of the Predators and Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck. Make the Under a 10* play.