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game recap

Hellebuyck makes 47 saves, Jets top Predators in Game 1

Scheifele scores two goals for Winnipeg; Rinne pulled after second

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Connor Hellebuyck made 47 saves for the Winnipeg Jets in a 4-1 win against the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round at Bridgestone Arena on Friday.

"I thought it was good," Hellebuyck said. "I thought the guys in front of me were allowing me to see shots. They were blocking ones they needed to block and our details were right. It's just a product of how hard we've been working."

 

[WATCH: All Jets vs. Predators highlights | Complete Predators vs. Jets series coverage]

 

Mark Scheifele had two goals, Blake Wheeler had two assists, and Brandon Tanev and Paul Stastny each scored for Winnipeg.

Kevin Fiala scored, and Pekka Rinne made 13 saves for Nashville.

"Yeah, I thought we played well," Predators defenseman Roman Josi said. "I thought we started well. We had a good first period and kind of followed it up. Like I said, we had a lot of shots, a lot of zone time. Now pucks have just got to go in."

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is here Sunday.

Video: WPG@NSH, Gm1: Tanev finishes Little's great effort

Tanev gave the Jets a 1-0 lead at 14:51 of the first period, scoring on a rebound at the left post off an initial shot by Bryan Little.

Stastny made it 2-0 at 9:01 of the second period. After a scramble in front, Patrik Laine collected the loose puck and shot from the left circle, and Stastny got the rebound and scored into an open net.

"Opportunistic, for sure," Stastny said. "When you get your chances, you've got to score. We didn't get any power plays. Sometimes, when you get power plays, you feel the puck and you get more chances. When you don't, we had different lines kind of step up and make plays.

"But our goals were more simple plays. When we didn't make the simple plays and were trying to do too much, trying to feather on 2-on-1s or 3-on-2s or over passing a little bit, then we got in trouble. If you look at the ways we scored, we just went to the net and from there, created everything."

Scheifele extended the lead to 3-0 at 17:51 on a rush, taking a drop pass from Wheeler and beating Rinne blocker side from the high slot.

Juuse Saros replaced Rinne to start the third period and made two saves.

Fiala scored to cut it to 3-1 at 1:23 of the third period. It was the first goal Hellebuyck had allowed since Marcus Foligno scored for the Minnesota Wild at 18:23 of the second period in Game 3 of the first round (163:00).

Scheifele scored an empty-net goal with 36 seconds remaining to make it 4-1.

"We're an upbeat group in here," Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban said. "If I'm being honest, that's the best game we've played probably of the playoffs and maybe one of our best of the year. The bounces didn't go our way. That's one that we're OK (with). We'll all sleep well tonight and we'll be ready to go back at it on Sunday."

Video: WPG@NSH, Gm1: Hellebuyck stops 47 to set team record

 

Goal of the game

Scheifele's goal at 17:51 of the second period.

Video: WPG@NSH, Gm1: Scheifele wires wrister past Rinne

 

Save of the game

Hellebuyck's save on Mattias Ekholm at 16:17 of the third period.

Video: WPG@NSH, Gm1: Hellebuyck denies Ekholm and Salomaki

 

Highlight of the game

Stastny's goal at 9:01 of the second period.

Video: WPG@NSH, Gm1: Stastny buries rebound in front

 

They said it

"Most of what was at our net was a heavy scrum, lots of plays within two or three feet of the net, which we'd like to clean up. But there certainly weren't a lot of odd-man rushes or things like that of a real high-risk nature. We weren't at our best, I'll give you that. We can play better, and I think we will as this series goes on. But we pay our goaltender, too." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice

 

"I think you can hang your hat on that sometimes in the regular season when you're talking about a process and a long haul and a big picture. But right now, if you give me two choices on where to be -- our game or their win -- I'd take the win. It's about winning hockey games right now. We'll look at it and try to get better." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette on if they played their best game of the playoffs

 

Need to know

Winnipeg won despite being outshot by 29 (48-19), the most since the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals in Game 5 of the 2016 Eastern Conference First Round (44-11). … Hellebuyck set a Jets/Atlanta Thrashers record for most saves in a playoff game, passing Johan Hedberg (Game 2 of 2007 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals) and Ondrej Pavelec (Game 2 of 2015 first round), who each made 37. … Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom (lower body) played his first game since March 23 and had two blocked shots in 18:05. … Predators forward Austin Watson left after the first period with an undisclosed injury. There was no update following the game.

 

What's next

Game 2 of Western Conference Second Round at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS)

 

Video: Hellebuyck, Scheifele propel Jets to Game 1 win

 

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