Tyler Myers and Paul Stastny scored 2:06 apart in the first period, and the Jets stunned the Nashville Predators 5-1 in their first Game 7 to continue an fantastic run for a team swept in its previous two playoff appearances.
Winnipeg Jets left wing Nikolaj Ehlers (27), of Denmark, falls to the ice as he chases the puck with Nashville Predators center Calle Jarnkrok (19), of Sweden, and right wing Ryan Hartman (38) during the first period in Game 7 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Thursday, May 10, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.
The victor of Game 7 faces the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference final that begins Saturday.
The Jets got out to an early lead and held on for a 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
"I think it's a different mindset", Johansen said.
Winnipeg had made an earlier push coming out of the first intermission, with Paul Stastny's shot just wide of Rinne's net the best of the bunch after Mathieu Perreault's dump in hit the linesman and caromed into the slot. "The biggest moment of the season, it's a bad feeling", he said of his performance.
Rinne, 35 and scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after next season, struggled mightily at times and was on mediocre (save for Game 6) at others.
The JoFA line for the Predators showed out for the Predators during Game Six, as they boasted a total of eight points. It seems fitting that the two best teams in the NHL's regular season would be squaring off in a winner-take-all, no-holds-barred match to finally determine who is the dominant team in the Central. Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler each had two assists.
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An Ibaka three-pointer cut the lead to 49-45 only to have the Cavaliers grab the game by the scruff of its neck. Lue himself couldn't have scripted a better first two series to prepare his team for Boston (probably).
Whether it is even strength, on the power-play, on the penalty kill, or goaltending, all things point to these two juggernauts being in a dead heat going into Thursday night. You let your teammates down. In fact, their top line knows that too, as does their head coach Peter Laviolette who sends out that line to stop the Jets' top line. And after P.K. Subban power-play point blast made it 2-1late in the first period, it appeared the Predators might be able to make a game of it.
The Jets have no shortage of offensive firepower and haven't lost back-to-back games after being shutout once this season.
Before this series started, many people knew that this series would be a tough one, as it was a series that featured two of the NHL's best teams during the regular season. Both are 2-1 on the road in the series, so one could say that the Predators have home-ice disadvantage for a win-or-die showdown.
With the Predators up 1-0 after one period, Forsberg doubled the lead at 8:44 of the second on a great solo rush for his sixth of the postseason.
"The first goal is huge". They know what it's like to win tough games as they showed that all past year during the playoffs. Scheifele added an empty-net goal with 2:33 left.
Las Vegas has gone both 4-0 and 4-2 in their first two playoff series.
"This is what we've worked on the last couple years", he said.
The good news for the Jets is that they bounced back from suffering consecutive home losses with wins the last two times that happened. The Preds are looking to make sure that they do not follow that script. Scoring in the game six win was Viktor Arvidsson, who scored twice and now have five in the postseason, and Filip Forsberg, who also scored twice in the game, plus he had three assists as well.