Video: TSN Playoff Report
WINNIPEG - In a series that through two games has seen all the speed, skill, and offensive firepower the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators are known for, a boost from a home crowd can be the jolt a team needs.
That's why Blake Wheeler can't wait for the first Winnipeg Whiteout of the Second Round.
"We always get up to play in front of our crowd. Seeing last round how amped up our city gets, the chaos inside the building, the chaos outside the building, it's a pretty cool atmosphere," said Wheeler.
"It doesn't mean it's going to be an easy game, or it's going to go our way just because we're in our building. But certainly we get excited to play here."
Video: PREGAME | Blake Wheeler
A 3-1 win in Game One earned the Jets at least a split at Bridgestone Arena, and when Nashville evened up the series with a 5-4 double overtime decision two nights ago, Winnipeg used it as a learning experience.
But that game is now behind them, and the focus is solely on Game Three, inside a building where the Jets have won their last 12 in a row.
"We dealt with it yesterday and now we look forward. We've worked hard at that being our foundation, how we've done it all season," said head coach Paul Maurice.
"We've past it now, moved on, and excited about a game tonight."
Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice
After five meetings in the regular season, and now two more in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Paul Stastny doesn't think there are any secrets between the two clubs.
It all comes down to execution.
"Both teams know what each other brings," said Stastny, who has a goal and an assist in the two games so far. "It's going to be a good game. It's going to be an up and down game with a lot of speed, and a lot of skill."
That skill may also be a reason there hasn't been an overwhelming amount of pushing and shoving after the whistle.
Both teams found the back of the net on the power play in Game Two, and in the regular season, the Jets (seventh) and the Predators (12th) were in the top half of the NHL's power play rankings.
Video: PREGAME | Ben Chiarot
"If you get picked out of that scrum as the one guy - and we saw that happen to us in the First Round - it can be in the back of your net," said Maurice.
"As teams get uncomfortable with each other over seven games, the possibility of it coming out is there for sure. But the cost is so much higher for both teams that feel that they have good teams and have a chance to win. So I think that will temper it."
Video: PREGAME | Paul Stastny
But as has been evident throughout the playoffs, nothing will temper the atmosphere around Bell MTS Place leading up to and including game time.
Neither team had any line-up changes to report after the pre-game skate.
The only change will be the fans in white instead of Nashville yellow.
"I think it's always fun playing at home. It's a little more special playing here with the Whiteout," said Stastny. "Every game since the first home game of the playoffs has been getting a little louder, and more exciting, and more energy. We'll definitely feed off the crowd to start the game. If we need them throughout the game, we'll feed off them if we have to."
- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
Video: PREGAME | Peter Laviolette
JETS GAME NOTES
The Winnipeg Jets play the third game of their best-of-seven second round series with the Nashville Predators tonight at Bell MTS Place…After winning Game 1 by a 4-1 score on Friday in Nashville, the Jets lost 5-4 in double overtime in Game 2 on Sunday at Bridgestone Arena to even the series…Game 4 is slated for Thursday at Bell MTS Place, while Game 5 is back in Nashville on Sunday.
Fear the White Out
Bell MTS Place has not been kind to opposing teams this season, as the Jets finished the regular season with the best home record in the NHL at 32-7-2…The Jets won their last nine games of the regular season in front of their home crowd and all three home games in the first round against Minnesota to extend the winning streak to a combined 12 games…The last time the Jets lost at home was Feb. 27/18 against Nashville.
Down in OT
Game 2's overtime defeat marked the second time in franchise history the Jets played an overtime game…Both of the games have been losses (Apr. 15 vs. ANA 5-4 L; Apr. 29 at NSH 5-4 L)…Sunday's game was the first time in franchise history the Jets went to double overtime, making it the longest game in franchise history at 85:37.
Mark Scheifele's game-tying goal with 1:05 left in the third and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck pulled for the extra attacker marked the fifth 6-on-5 goal of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs and first of the second round…During the regular season, the Jets scored two 6-on-5 goals and one 6-on-4 goal, which was tied for the third fewest extra attacker goals this season.
Struggles at the Dot
The Jets lost 38.7% of their faceoffs in Game 2 after losing 34.0% of their faceoffs in Game 1…Only three times during the regular season did the Jets lose more than 50% of the faceoffs in back-to-back games, with the last time coming Nov. 4-6/17…The Jets finished fifth in the NHL during the regular season in faceoff winning percentage at 52.4%, but have fallen to 46.4% in the playoffs.
This series is a meeting of the top two teams during the regular season in terms of points…Nashville won the Presidents' Trophy after earning 117 points…Winnipeg was three points back with 114 points…This is the fifth playoff series since 1990 that pits the top two teams from the regular season against each other in the playoffs…It's the second time in as many seasons that the top two teams play each other in the second round, as the Washington Capitals played the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.
Jets head coach Paul Maurice is coaching in the postseason for the sixth time in his career…Maurice is 30-34 behind the bench in playoff games, with the highlight of his postseason success coming in 2002 when he coached the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Final…The Game 1 win against Minnesota was his first playoff victory since 2009 when he coached Carolina.
Schiefele Stays Streaky
Mark Scheifele scored twice in each of Game 1 and Game 2 to extend his goal scoring streak to four games…He's scored seven goals in the quartet of games…Scheifele leads the NHL in goals in the playoffs with eight and is tied for seventh in scoring with 10 points (8G, 2A)…He is one of four players playing in the second round that is averaging at least a goal per game…The hot streak comes after Scheifele scored twice in his final 13 regular season games.
Set Up Men
Captain Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien each assisted on Mark Scheifele's game-tying goal in Game 2 and share the team-lead in playoff assists with six…Byfuglien also scored in Game 2 for this first two points of the series, while Wheeler has an assist in four consecutive games…During the regular season, Wheeler was tied for the NHL lead in assists with 68 in 81 games, which established a career high for himself.
Brandon Tanev's third period goal in Game 2 extended his goal scoring streak to three games…In 115 regular season games, Tanev has 10 goals and has never scored in back-to-back regular season games…He joins Mark Scheifele as the only two Jets that have scored in both games of this series.
Dustin Byfuglien and Paul Stastny are the only two players on the Jets roster to score an overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs…Byfuglien did it during his time with the Chicago Blackhawks, while Paul Stastny did it with the Colorado Avalanche, which occurred against these same Wild on Apr. 17/14…In that game Stastny also scored the game-tying goal with 14 seconds remaining in the third period.