The Predators' triumph helped them win the Presidents Trophy and guarantee home ice through the playoffs.
It just wasn't supposed to be that way.
The Nashville Predators were the best team in hockey during the regular season but survived a late blown lead to avoid an 0-2 hole in round two thanks to their offense.
So would the missed call inside the final minute of the second period when Kyle Connor hooked Ryan Ellis to the ground as he got possession of the puck in the defensive zone.
Trailing 3-0 after one period, the Jets absolutely exploded in the second, scoring three goals in 2:51 and taking the lead on a late goal by Dustin Byfuglien - his second of the game - to take an nearly unfathomable 4-3 lead. I remember when I was in college and Jerred Smithson scored an overtime goal against the Ducks in the playoffs.
Nashville completely dominated the first period. "I see him dance all the time".
Most of the Jets chose to recover from the protracted contest and late-night flight home by staying off their skates today.
Take a picture folks. "I think everyone just knows that you can't quit, never quit".
Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien each had two goals and an assist to begin the Winnipeg onslaught. The Jets showed an incredible response after a awful first period and who is surprised that the drivers of the comeback were captain Blake Wheeler (two goals, including the victor, and an assist), Byfuglien and Paul Stastny ... Arvidsson has 32 goals and 35 assists to his name (and has logged at least one point in 46 games). "He saw me, I just made a move and buried it". They played more free and loose, much like Colorado did in the first round.More news: FIFA Mulling Changes to Non-World Cup Competitions
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Watson made it 3-0 with 2:25 left when he took advantage of an awkward Winnipeg change and sniped a shot through the legs of Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey, under Hellebuyck's glove and off the post for his fifth.
Predators forward Filip Forsberg collected his fifth goal of the playoffs at 7:40 of the third to tie it 4-4 with Winnipeg forward Jack Roslovic in the box for interference, but then Jets captain Blake Wheeler grabbed the reins. More credit to Maurice for leaving Hellebuyck in when it looked like it might not be his night. And with the way he's playing, DeBrusk is giving Boston that little bit of an extra edge they might need to get there.
But the roughing penalty to Scheifele fired up the Jets. They earned an all-important split in Nashville and now have three of the next five games on home ice. If the Preds can continue to keep that line on the outside, they'll no doubt have success.
Winnipeg is averaging 3.4 goals per game over its five-game winning streak.
So explain this to me. Players can whack each other with their sticks repeatedly, right in front of the ref, and it's not a penalty. It was their second power play of the period and P.K. Subban scored to increase the lead. But slash, whack and punch away boys ...
The Nashville Predators started the game off hot, scoring on their first shot of the game on a goal from Ryan Johansen. Nothing to worry about there.
The series shifts to Winnipeg next week for Games 3 and 4.
Despite all the interference, holding, high-sticking, cross-checking and hooking that wasn't called - they were letting them play, as they say - the game settled down for nearly 14 minutes before Patrik Laine found a wide open Byfuglien. They were sitting in the second row at ice level. That was the moment that the 15,000 Jets fans crammed into the smallest arena in the National Hockey League got back on their feet and regained their voice.
They instead spent the first intermission calmly trying to figure a way out of that deficit.