Pekka Rinne is back.
The Predators, playing a mediocre game offensively and a poor one defensively, were bailed out by their large Finnish netminder numerous times as the Predators held on to win 2-1 over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. Rinne saved 32 of 33 shots, the lone goal coming in as the game died out on a 6-on-4.
P.K. “Can the fans even be loud in Winnipeg if I can’t hear their boos?” Subban and Ryan Hartman each had great games as well, both adding in goals. Subban now has three goals and two assists this series.
This was a must win game for the Predators and thankfully they did. It was not pretty, as Rinne had to be excellent for long stretches of this game. The Predators also had some luck as the Jets had the lion’s share of chances. Thankfully the job is done and the Predators are coming back to Nashville having successfully split the series in Winnipeg.
- And we’re off!
- Early penalties both ways as Josi and Laine both head off the ice.
- “The Wild Adventures of Rinne Behind the Net” continue.
- P.K. Subban must think he’s wearing the red and blue against Boston because holy smokes is he playing big and mean tonight. Monster hit on Tanev.
- What a stop by Rinne on Stastny in the slot! And then on Laine!
- The defense really, really needs to figure themselves out. Could be 2-0 if not for Rinne.
- RYAN HARTMAN COME ON DOWN! Shovels a rebound in after a Mike Fisher offensive zone face-off win. 1-0 good guys.
- Sissons just completely got away with a trip in the Predators’ corner, but then the Jets set blatant pick on Bonino and there’s no call. Guess the whistles are away tonight.
- Whelp Craig Smith, you still can’t blatantly trip a guy in the neutral zone right in front of the referee. Two minutes for tripping.
- Preds end the first up 1-0, but will start the second shorthanded for two minutes. A huge penalty kill; an early goal will launch the Winnipeg fans right back into this game.
- Successfully killed off. Big way to start the second period.
- Not to pile on him too much, but Emelin is really being outshined by Yannick Weber thus far.
- What a forecheck by Arvidsson. I don’t think there will ever be a day when I fail to appreciate his hustle.
- Finn on Finn action as Salomaki crushes Laine.
- BIG SAVE BY RINNE and we have Forsberg and Scheifele going at it along the boards.
- Smith don’t launch the puck square in Hellebuyck’s chest.
- Andrew Copp just shoves Pekka Rinne in the middle of play for no reason. No call. Who knew that trash could skate? (Just kidding, we all have already seen Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry play)
- Byfuglien to the box for a slash on Mattias Ekholm as #14 makes a rush into the offensive zone. Big chance on the power play without the Jets’ best killer.
- Wheeler and Scheifele get a 2-on-1 chance shorthanded but just can’t connect as P.K. barely tips the puck away. So yes, the Predators’ power play is par the course.
- AND THEN P.K. SUBBAN SCORES! ARVIDSSON WITH THE JUMP SCREEN AGAIN!
- Honestly, just because the power play scored doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good power play. The Predators still need to be more pointed and aggressive towards the net using the space they get. Hitting bomb shots from the blue line is not a strategy for consistent success.
- Nonetheless, it’s 2-0 Nashville.
- A hook called on Winnipeg as Kyle Turris finds space in the slot and Lowry hooks him.
- Now THIS is how a power play works. Predators moving the puck in with aggression towards Hellebuyck. Nothing to show for it yet but boy this looks miles better.
- Third period, aka TURTLE SZN.
- The Jets are all up in Rinne’s grill tonight, good for him staying composed all night.
- THREE ON ONE...and Arvidsson shoots it into the blocker.
- Has Rinne been using that Warrior stick all season? For whatever reason it’s catching me as new and out of place.
- TUR-TLE-S-ZN, TUR-TLE-S-ZN!
- My word the Jets have barely missed on open nets five shifts in a row. Shoutout to Ryan Hartman for diving in front of that last chance.
- WHY DO WE KEEP TAKING PENALTIES UNDER TEN MINUTES TO GO IN THE THIRD?? Subban to the box for cross checking.
- Winnipeg pulls the goalie, 6-on-4 hockey with two minutes to go.
- Laine hits the post and I need to hold a puppy or something to calm me down.
- Aaaaand Laine scores on the face-off. 2-1 Predators with 49.6 seconds to go.
- 1.2 seconds left and a face-off by Pekka. There’s about to be a brawl, isn’t there?
- Wow no brawl. Predators hold on and win 2-1, regaining home ice advantage in what is now a best-of-three.
OTF Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Pekka Rinne - 32 saves on 33 shots.
- P.K. Subban - GWG and some huge defensive stops.
- Ryan Hartman - Got the scoring started and made some huge diving blocked shots.
I typed these out before NBC Sports announced them in this same order. My girlfriend can vouch for me.
Nashville Corsi-for %: 48.96
Nashville Fenwick-for %: 49.4%
Shots: 29 NSH, 33 WPG
Nashville High Danger Chances: 8
Winnipeg High Danger Chances: 13