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Nashville Predators 1, Winnipeg Jets 2: Late Shorthanded Goal Sends Preds to Chicago

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The Predators will finish in the 8th seed and play the Blackhawks in the 1st round.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators blew an opportunity to avoid Chicago in the 1st round when Blake Wheeler scored a late shorthanded goal in the 3rd period. The Jets would go on to beat the Preds 2-1, even though the Preds had a 1-0 lead for most of the game.

It didn’t look like the Preds were really into this game in the first period. The Jets out-shot the Preds 14-7 and were the better side for 20 minutes. The good news for the Preds was that Pekka Rinne looked great. He made some dynamite saves early on and looked pretty comfortable.

Then in the 2nd period, the Preds came to life a little bit. They provided enough pressure to draw a couple of penalties and earn themselves a 5-on-3 power play. That didn’t work out so well, but Ryan Ellis’ shorthanded goal a few minutes later sure did.

Shortly after that, the Preds thought they scored again when James Neal and Viktor Arvidsson seemed to combine on a goal in front of Hellebuyck. The call was reversed on the ice when the referee decided that Arvy got a little too close to the Jets goalie.

So it was 1-0 after 40 minutes and the Preds looked like they were jolted to life somewhat. They out-shot the Jets 21-6 in the 2nd period.

It was sometime in the 3rd period that the Blues and Hurricanes went into overtime, thus locking the Preds out of the 3 seed. But they were still in the running for the 7 seed.

The 3rd period was memorable, but not for the right reasons. First, the Jets tied the game after a turnover in the neutral zone led to a 2-on-1. Kyle Connor scored and it was all even. Then, with the Preds on the power play late in the game, Blake Wheeler connected on an odd-man rush to put the Jets up 2-1. The Preds attempted a late push to tie it, but fell short.

It is what it is. The Preds will have to face the Blackhawks. Things will burn, people will be angry, but somehow the world won’t end. (I think)

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Pekka Rinne: He made some really unbelievable saves in this one, stopping Jets left and right. This wouldn’t have been close, save for his play in net.
  2. Ryan Ellis: Sweet play to get that shorty. His 16th goal of the year leads all Preds blueliners.

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