Jets rally past Predators in Game 3, take series lead
Score four goals in second period, three in 2:51by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent
WINNIPEG -- Blake Wheeler scored the go-ahead goal for the Winnipeg Jets with 4:59 remaining in a 7-4 win against the Nashville Predators in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round at Bell MTS Place on Tuesday.
Winnipeg trailed 3-0 after the first period but scored four straight goals in the second, including three in 2:51, to take a 4-3 lead into the third.
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"We got kicked in the teeth a little bit in the first, and our team has always responded well this year, whether it be a bad game or a bad period," Wheeler said. "Our goal was just to win the second period and give ourselves a chance."
The Jets lead the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 is here Thursday.
Video: NSH@WPG, Gm3: Jets score three quick goals to tie it
Filip Forsberg tied it 4-4 with a power-play goal at 7:40 before Wheeler scored with the man-advantage to put the Jets back in front 5-4.
Wheeler scored into an empty net to make it 6-4 with 51 seconds left, and Brandon Tanev made it 7-4 with 31 seconds remaining.
"We stopped playing," Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis said. "We didn't play hard, and they really turned it up. So that's exactly what's going to happen when one team quits playing and the other one turns it up. For us, I think we just need to learn from our mistakes, and really it's just about playing the game for the full 60 (minutes)."
Dustin Byfuglien (two goals, one assist) and Paul Stastny (one goal, two assists) each had three points, and Jacob Trouba had a goal and an assist for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves to improve to 8-0-1 this season after allowing at least five goals in his previous start.
P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist for Nashville, and Pekka Rinne made 38 saves.
Video: NSH@WPG, Gm3: Subban scores PPG on one-timer
Mike Fisher scored his first goal of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at 4:53 of the first period to give the Predators a 1-0 lead.
Subban made it 2-0 at 10:06 with a power-play goal; his one-timer from above the left circle beat Hellebuyck through the five-hole.
Austin Watson scored his fifth of the playoffs at 17:35 to make it 3-0.
"You're down 3-0, it's not a big deal for this team because just the way we feed off the crowd, just the way we can roll line after line after line," Stastny said. "I thought the two biggest things we did was putting [Kyle] Connor on our line and [Nikolaj] Ehlers [on Mark Scheifele's], kind of switching them [in the first period]. I thought both those guys were unbelievable."
Stastny made it 3-1 at 2:38 of the second period when he deflected Trouba's shot from the right point. It was not initially called a goal on the ice, but video review after a stoppage in play at 2:45 determined the puck crossed the goal line.
Video: NSH@WPG, Gm3: Stastny deflects puck past Rinne
Byfuglien made it 3-2 with a slap shot from the right point at 5:11, and Trouba tied it 3-3 at 5:29 with a shot from the bottom of the left circle off a pass from Wheeler across the slot.
Byfuglien scored his second of the period at 19:15 to put the Jets ahead 4-3.
"We stopped moving our legs," Predators forward Ryan Johansen said. "We did a lot of things poorly, and they got better. Momentum swings in playoffs, they can be deadly."
Goal of the game
Wheeler's goal at 15:01 of the third period.
Video: NSH@WPG, Gm3: Wheeler gives Jets late lead with PPG
Save of the game
Hellebuyck stopping Viktor Arvidsson at 10:37 of the third period.
Video: NSH@WPG, Gm3: Hellebuyck robs Arvidsson on breakaway
Highlight of the game
Byfuglien's goal at 19:15 of the second period.
Video: NSH@WPG, Gm3: Byfuglien fires home go-ahead goal
They said it
"I think in the second period we wanted to do the right things with the puck, but we didn't take care of the puck good enough. We didn't get pucks past their D, we didn't get it in deep, and, you know, in the playoffs it doesn't matter what your system is, you've got to get pucks in and forecheck hard." -- Predators defenseman P.K. Subban
"What makes him unique is he can -- I don't know if take over is right -- but he can make an impact in a game in just about every single way possible. He can defend, he can play real physical, nobody wants to drop the gloves with him. And then there's an offensive side. It's a perfectly placed shot, quick hands, all the other things that he can do offensively." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice on defenseman Dustin Byfuglien
Need to know
Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok missed the game because of an undisclosed injury. Forward Miikka Salomaki took his place and had three hits and one blocked shot in 10:49. … Scheifele had two assists to become the first player with multiple points in five consecutive team games in a single NHL postseason since Sidney Crosby did it for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2010.
Game 4 of Western Conference Second Round at Bell MTS Place on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS)
Video: Jets rally past Preds to grab 2-1 series lead
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