Monday evening pucks and a pair of teams from the Central Division square off as the Nashville Predators rumble with the Winnipeg Jets in game six of their best-of-seven series from Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Jets now have a 3-2 series lead after winning game five by a score of 6-2. Goalie Probables: Getting the nod for the Predators will be Pekka Rinne (6-5, 3.23 GAA) and the Jets will counter with Connor Hellebyuck (7-3, 2.29 GAA).
Do The Preds And Caps Have The Same Script?
The Nashville Predators appear to be following the same script that the Washington Capitals used the last two years. In those years, the Capitals won the President’s Cup, which is awarded to the team with the most points during the regular season and both year they were knocked out in the 2nd round of the playoffs. They really have their backs against the wall after taking a crushing 6-2 home loss on Saturday to fall down 3-2 in the series. Now they have to try and stave off elimination on the road, but it will not be easy as the Jets have been one of the best home teams in the league this year. Scoring in the game five loss was Yannick Weber, which was his 1st of the playoffs and Ryan Johansen, which was his 5th. The Predators have gone 28-18 on the road this year and they have averaged 3.04 gpg and have allowed 2.50 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss in game five was Pekka Rinne, who allowed six goals on 26 shots attempts, before being removed in favor of Juuse Saros, who stopped all six shots he faced. Rinne is now 6-5 with a 3.23 GA and a .898 save percentage in the postseason this year and 42-39 with a 2.46 GAA and a .915 save percentage in the postseason in his career. During the regular season, he was 42-17 with a 2.31 GAA and a .927 save percentage overall, including 17-9 with a 2.09 GAA and a.937 save percentage on the road. Rinne is 15-5 with a 2.41 GAA and a .916 save percentage in his career (regular season) against the Jets.
The Predators have been a solid offensive team during the postseason as they enter this game ranked 7th in scoring at 3.27 gpg, while also ranking 1st in shots taken (36.4 spg) and 9th in power play conversions, converting on 21.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been below average as they come in ranked 10th in goals allowed, giving up 3.36 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots allowed (31.9 spg) and 5th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.7% of their chances.
Jets Crush Preds On The Road
The Winnipeg Jets’ franchise has been around since 1999/2000 and this is just the 3rd year that they have been in the postseason. Well, they are making the most of it as they now have a 3-2 series lead over the Predators, who are the top seed in the Western Conference. The Jets took a major step of advancing to the Western Conference Finals on Saturday when they crushed the Preds on the road by a score of 6-2. Now they just have to win here at home to move on and they have been a very tough home team on the year, going 36-10 here at the Bell MTS Place and averaging 3.83 gpg, while allowing just 2.39 gpg in those games. The Jets clearly have the upper hand in this one, but they have to be careful as the Preds did take game four here. Scoring in the win was Paul Stastny, which was his 4th of the postseason, Kyle Connor, who scored his first two of the postseason in the game, Dustin Byfuglien, which was his 4th, Mark Scheifele, which was his 9th and Mathieu Perreault, which was his 1st.
Snatching up the game five win was Connor Hellebuyck, who stopped 38 of the 40 shots that he faced to improve to 7-3 with a 2.29 GAA and a .925 save percentage in this his first season of playoff action. During the regular season, he was 44-20 with a 2.36 GAA and a .924 save percentage overall, including 30-7 with a 2.31 GAA and a .921 save percentage here at home. Hellebuyck has gone 6-5 with a 3.20 GAA and a .908 save percentage against the Predators in his career (regular season).
Winnipeg has been a good offensive team in the playoffs as they come in ranked 1st in scoring at 3.80 gpg, while also ranking 3rd in shots taken (34.8 spg) and 4th in power play conversions, converting on 25.9% of their chances. They have been very solid at the defensive end of the ice, during the postseason, as they come in ranked 3rd in goals allowed, giving up 2.30 gpg, while also ranking 6th in shots allowed (31.4 spg) and 12th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 25.9% of their chances.
- The Over is 5-1 in their last six after scoring two goals or less in their previous game
- The Over is 9-4-4 in their last 17 following a home loss of three or more goals
- The Over is 7-2 in their last nine home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600
- The Over is 16-6 in their last 22 when their opponent allows five goals or more in their previous game
Game four of this series saw just three goals scored and that game was here at Bell MTS Place, but game five went back to normal as the teams combined for eight goals. I expect this one to be more like game five than game four. The Preds have their backs against the wall and will be going all out on offense to keep their season alive and they will have to as Pekka Rinne has a 3.23 GAA in the postseason so far. The Jets will be going for the knockout punch in this one and will rely on their offense to get the job done and we note that they have averaged 3.83 gpg here at home for the year, including 4.00 gpg at home in the playoffs this year. Also look for an empty-netter or two late, especially if the Preds are trailing as they will have to pull their goalie early. These teams have combined to average 7.70 gpg in the 10 meetings this year. Take the Over tonight.