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Nashville Predators vs. Winnipeg Jets Game 3 Preview: North of the Border

The Predators are in Winnipeg for Game 3.

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Tonight, the Predators face the Jets in what’s sure to be a frenzied Game 3. The series is tied 1-1, and Winnipeg will be using their rowdy fans to their advantage tonight.

The Winnipeg Jets

The Jets are returning home in a good mood. They stole a game in Nashville and are facing the Predators on their home ice at Bell MTS Centre. The Winnipeg fans are loud, rowdy, and excited for their team in the second round. We can expect tons of booing of the Predators tonight.

Paul Stastny added another goal on Sunday, as did Mark Scheifele. Patrik Laine has been largely an assist-machine in this series, but expect him to get fired up on home ice.

The Jets, like Nashville, will seek to get bodies in front of Pekka Rinne to assist in their goal scoring. It will be up to Nashville’s defense to elevate their play and help our Finnish goaler see pucks. Winnipeg will shove and push all night in front of the nets...Nashville has to shove back and find ways to not get flustered and frustrated.

The Predators did an excellent job of getting screens in front of Connor Hellebuyck on Sunday night. The Jets netminder is playing very well, and Nashville absolutely cannot shoot from the point and expect Hellebuyck to not see the puck.

The Nashville Predators

The Predators required an overtime and five minutes of another overtime to dispose of the Jets on Sunday. It’s time for a convincing victory on the road.

Nashville will likely be looking for some stellar play from Pekka Rinne. He stood tall when it counted the most on Sunday, and he will need to continue that effort in tonight’s game.

The Kyle Turris-Craig Smith-Kevin Fiala line finally looked like it was figuring things out on Sunday evening. Fiala’s goal was something magical, and Turris ensured the puck ended up on Smith’s stick. Some good 5-on-5 play from this line (along with JoFA) will really stress the defense of the Jets.

Austin Watson is obviously a little wounded. He’s not hitting as much, but it will only take a few bounces to get him, Nick Bonino, and Colton Sissons going again.

The Predators have to gain and MAINTAIN a lead tonight in order to win the game. With Hellebuyck pulled on Sunday, the Jets were able to easily tie the game with about a minute left in regulation. Icing the puck and failing to get the puck out of the Nashville zone spells disaster.

Nick took a look at Nashville’s screens and shots in yesterday’s Game 2 analysis.

Memories and Feelings

-How quiet were you during Sunday’s OT? Don’t lie. We were all quiet. It was a scary time. Get loud tonight wherever you are and cheer on the boys to a road victory.

-Booing Dustin Byfuglien (Butt Fugly Alien) is always a good way to pass the time.

Reasons to Watch

-Royal Canadian Air Force FA-18 Hornets will conduct a flyover before tonight’s game...and that’s pretty freaking cool. These jets are part of a demonstration team that celebrates the 60th Anniversary of NORAD.

-Will Dustin Byfuglien manhandle more Predators tonight?

-Can Pekka Rinne rediscover his insane regular-season form?

Tonight’s Theme Song

“I Hate Everything About You” by Three Days Grace. It’s getting chippy and salty out there, and it will only get worse tonight when the Jets are in front of their home crowd.

Tonight’s Beverage of Choice

A frosty bottle of Carolina Brewing Company’s Spring Bock.

How to Watch

Tonight’s game is at 7 pm. Catch the game on CNBC. As always, the radio call can be heard on 102.5 The Game.