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Nashville Predators 4, Winnipeg Jets 5 (SO): Jets Outlast Preds In A Dogfight

Juuse Saros shines, but Predators can’t score in the shootout.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Winnipeg Jets Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators came into Winnipeg with a lot of things going against them. For one, they had lost their past two games, one of which occurring the night before. Second, they were down a few players including Austin Watson, Alexei Emelin, and Yannick Weber. Finally, the Jets could clinch a playoff spot with a win, and gain ground in the chase for first place in the central division. Despite taking an early 2-0 lead, the Predators fell to the Jets in a shootout, 5-4.

The first period began with high octane energy, flying bodies and an absence of goals. The Predators wound up with a 4-on-3 power play after not scoring on one earlier in the period, then getting a 5-on-3, and then Kevin Fiala got called for interference. Moments after the 4-on-3 ended, Roman Josi sent a screamer into the net to break the tie at zero. With a couple minutes left in the period, the Jets took another immature penalty, and Kyle Turris capitalized with less than a second in the period. Two to nothing after one.

The second period did not start out very well. The Jets got a power play almost immediately, but the Predators made a big stop. However, another penalty was called on Nashville right after the first kill. This time, the Jets converted. In the following minutes, Saros was left out to dry countless times, but he thankfully weathered the storm very well. Later, Ryan Ellis would silence the crowd with his slap shot off the faceoff to make it a two goal game. Soon after that, the Jets initially appeared to have scored. However, it was ruled a no-goal, when the puck was seen to be obviously kicked in. However, the Predators gave up another penalty, and the Jets made Nashville pay for it. Following that goal, the physical play escalated. Scrums after every stoppage of play, and it eventually led to 4-on-4 hockey, with penalties against Mattias Ekholm and Tyler Myers. During the 4-on-4, the Jets made the game even at three, thanks to Bryan Little. However, the Predators weren’t done yet. Filip Forsberg made a nice open pass to Ryan Johansen, whose shot was shoved in by Viktor Arvidsson to take the lead. That would be the final goal of the second, and the Predators had one period left to escape this dogfight.

The third period opened with both teams trading chances, and only one chance converted. Johansen had a breakaway but got stopped, and then Blake Wheeler tied the game at 4 less than a minute into the game. Through the rest of the period, both teams had plenty of chances. The best for Nashville was with five minutes left, when they had a power play. While they didn’t convert, they kept the Jets from scoring as well, and the game went to overtime.

Overtime was spent at first inside Nashville’s own zone, and Saros had to block shot after shot after shot. But as time went on, the team in gold got more and more chances. It ended with Kyle Turris on a breakaway, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Despite being a ruthless back and forth game, it would be decided with a shootout.

In the shootout, Mark Scheifele was the lone goal scorer, and the Predators lost in the shootout.

That’s one of the best games I’ve seen all year, even with the loss. The Preds get a point, and head back home.

Random Observations

  • First period has begun, and the energy on the ice is tangible. Everyone knows what’s at stake, and everyone is acting accordingly.
  • Preds go on the power play after a too many men penalty. Converting on lucky breaks like these are essential.
  • Can’t find a goal on the man advantage. Shocking.
  • Another PP for Nashville. Let’s actually put some shots on goal this time, yeah?
  • Wide open opportunity for Josi but can’t find the net, but it’s okay because the Jets committed another penalty!
  • Just kidding, interference on Fiala.
  • BOOM. Roman Josi sends a rocket past Hellebuyck just after the power play ends. 1-0.
  • Big save by Saros on Byfuglien to keep the game tied. However, the Jets appear to be getting their offense going, so that won’t be the last time he has to make a big play.
  • Another penalty on Winnipeg. Doubling the lead at the end of the period would be huge.
  • Did the Jets fans have a rehearsal to prepare their synchronized booing of Subban? Because, despite being dumb, it’s rather impressive.
  • Preds go on the penalty kill right at the start of the second.
  • Big kill by the Preds, but right as one PK ends, another begins.
  • This time, the Jets convert. 2-1.
  • Not sure how to feel about this; excited Saros is playing so well, or concerned that the team is forcing him to make such big saves? I’ll take the latter.
  • Ryan Ellis just yanked the momentum out of this arena. 3-1.
  • Puck goes in behind Saros, but it was pretty clearly kicked in. No goal.
  • Why are the fans booing the call, did P.K. secretly get the puck?
  • Another penalty against Nashville.
  • Jets convert again. This teams power play is too good to give up so many penalties.
  • Tempers are flaring, scrums pretty much after every stoppage of play.
  • LOL at Tyler Myers. Skates over to get in P.K.’s face, and then just sits there. What a guy.
  • The scrum will result in a penalty a side, but I just don’t see how Ekholm should get called there.
  • Another Jets goal. Tied at 3.
  • Arvy! Forsberg to Joey to Arvy. Goals like that just warm my heart. 4-3.
  • Filip is out for blood, and I love it.
  • That’ll do it for the second. No one said this one was going to be easy.
  • Near goal by Joey to open up the third, but can’t get it in.
  • Winnipeg goal. 4-4.
  • 4-on-4 again.
  • 4-on-4 over, still tied.
  • Penalty on Nashville at the halfway point in the third. Big moment for this team.
  • Gutsy play by Hartman there. Hit in the face with a high stick, then get back in the play and put pressure on the Jets.
  • Penalty killed. That was huuuuge.
  • Five minutes left and the Nashville Predators have a chance to take the lead on a power play. Do you believe in miracles?
  • Welp. Power play over.
  • After that wild ending, we’re headed to OT.
  • I really, REALLY don’t like overtime.
  • On to the shootout. YOU GOT THIS JUUSE.
  • Forsberg can’t score, that’ll end it.

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Juuse Saros- Heck of a game from the kid. Really kept the team in it when they were content chilling in their own zone.
  2. Viktor Arvidsson- Seemed to be all over the ice (as usual), and tallied a goal and an assist.
  3. Ryan Ellis- Scorer of my favorite goal of the night, what a rocket.

Tweets of the Nights

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