Winnipeg Jets (59-23-9-2) vs. Nashville Predators (60-23-4-7)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, May 10, 2018
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Jets Get Shut Out In Game 6
The Winnipeg Jets (7-4) missed an incredible opportunity to clinch their first-ever Conference Finals after failing to wrap up their Western Conference Second Round series against the Nashville Predators, losing Game 6 on their own ice by being blanked with a score of 4-0 at Bell MTS Place on Monday. Playing just two days after taking a 3-2 series lead with a 6-2 victory in Nashville, the Jets outshot the visitors 34-29, won 61% of all the face-offs and forced the Preds to block 23 shots, yet couldn’t take advantage of four power-play opportunities and were shut out for the first time this postseason. Jacob Trouba (2 goals, 3 points during the current playoffs) led the team with five shots on goal.
Connor Hellebuyck allowed three goals on 28 shots between the pipes for Winnipeg, taking his current performance status to 7-4 this postseason with a 2.36 GAA and a .922 save percentage. He was 6-4-1 against Nashville in previous encounters ahead of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3.20 GAA and a .908 save percentage. The Jets, meanwhile, are scoring the 4th highest number of goals per game during the ongoing postseason (3.45), while giving up the 3rd lowest amount in their defensive zone (2.45). They are 8th in power play with a 22.6% success rate and 10th in penalty kill with 75.0% proficiency.
Preds Save Their Lives In Winnipeg
After dropping Game 5 on their own ice with a count of 6-2 on Saturday, the Nashville Predators (7-5) still managed to go to the best home team of the regular season (32-7-2) and tie their Western Conference Semifinals pairing at 3-3 by blanking the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 at Bell MTS Place on Monday. Viktor Arvidsson (5 goals, 9 points during the current postseason) opened the scoring jut 62 seconds into the game. Filip Forsberg (7 goals, 15 points) made it 2-0 during a delayed penalty in the second, while both got on the scoreboard again in the final third, with Forsberg netting an incredible between-the-legs strike and Arvidsson burying an empty-netter with 4:02 remaining.
Goalie Pekka Rinne made 34 saves for his second shutout of the current playoff campaign and has now gone 7-5 during it with a 2.94 GAA and a .907 save percentage. He has registered a 43-39 career record in all previous postseason appearances combined with a 2.43 GAA and a .916 save percentage and, prior to the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, had gone 15-4-1 against Winnipeg historically with a 2.41 GAA and a .916 save percentage. The Predators, meanwhile, are scoring the 6th highest quantity of goals per game this postseason (3.33), while conceding the 8th highest amount defensively (3.08). They are 9th in power play (20.6%) and 3rd best in penalty kill (84.2%).
- Jets are 1-5 in their last 6 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals.
- Jets are 3-7 in their last 10 Thursday games.
- Predators are 4-0 in their last 4 Thursday games.
- Predators are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Predators are 61-26 in their last 87 vs. Western Conference.
The Jets know really well that Game 6 of their Western Conference Semifinals against the Predators was arguably their best chance to make the Conference Finals. Leaving it for the deciding Game 7 in Nashville was always going to be a risky proposition, as Bridgestone Arena has not been the friendliest of places Winnipeg has ever traveled to. Yes, the Jets have won two of their last three visits during the current series, but had managed to notch just one victory in their previous five contests there. And although Winnipeg has been quite efficient on the road lately (6-2), it still has struggled to bounce back after heavy domestic defeats, managing to win just one of its last six games following a home loss of three or more goals…