Jets overcome 3-goal deficit to soar past Predators 7-4

Catfish have lives too Winnipeg girl pleads with predators to end fish-throwing traditionMore

Catfish have lives too Winnipeg girl pleads with predators to end fish-throwing traditionMore

Pekka Rinne stopped 32 shots as Nashville evened the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal at two games each with a 2-1 win at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba. "Obviously they scored a goal early, and after that we just became passive and - yeah, I don't think it would have mattered which team we were playing".

"I think the biggest thing is", said P.K. Subban, who now has goals in three straight games, "we had full commitment through our lineup to play defence". Nashville came out of the gate strong again.

The Jets spotted the Predators a 3-0 lead after the first period on Tuesday, seemingly forgetting they were also supposed to make an effort. The play developed after Scott Hartnell attempted to ice the puck and Paul Stastny knocked it down with a high stick for a whistle. The Predators have gone 31-15 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.37 gpg and have allowed 2.61 gpg in those games.

Huge statistic or meaningless number?

From that point on, the Jets were a different team, finishing hits, outskating and outshooting the Predators and recapturing the most elusive of intangibles - momentum. Kyle Connor missed on a pass from Bryan Little in the slot on a power play, and Mark Scheifele let the puck skip over his stick on a 2-on-1 with Blake Wheeler moments before Subban silenced the crowd with his goal.

On the penalty kill the Predators turned the puck over and the Jets turned it into start a 2-on-1.

The crowd was loud, but it did not turn out in their favor. The Predators defensive play created 10 takeaways and 19 Jet turnovers.

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You can't get to Flin Flon from here without passing through The Pas, and you can't get past Round 2 without solving the kind of game plan Nashville threw at Winnipeg in Game 4 Thursday night. "On the road, normally you get a real good chance to play your game. Viktor Arvidsson is 5'9" tall and he still manages to be effective. Andrew Copp came up to Rinne during play and shoves the goalie right in front of the officials.

In Game 4 both goaltenders showed up to play. The final two goals of the game were empty-net goals, so there's not much the Predators could have done to stop those. They are both Vezina Trophy candidates. They allowed the Jets an inch, and they ran all over the Predators.

Subban took a cross-checking penalty with just over 2:00 left leading to a Patrick Laine goal that cut it to a one goal lead, but Rinne and the Preds closed it out, sparking a happy celebration from the visitors north of the border. If the Jets are going to reclaim the advantage in this series Saturday in Music City, it is going to have to begin with them figuring out a way to draw first blood again.

The Jets saw their 13-game home winning streak snapped Thursday in game four, and now must regroup for game five back in Nashville. Pekka Rinne was the first star of the game and he had a bounce back game after a rough Game 2.

He made a pivotal save on Mark Scheifele late in the third and it defined his game.

"I already outfitted myself in white Jets playoff gear three years ago [when Winnipeg was swept from the post-season by the Anaheim Ducks in four games] but I felt the need to continue to support the team". Kyle Connor scored 25 goals in his rookie season, Ehlers had over 60 points and Laine finished second in goals in the National Hockey League. Hartman also notched the game-winner when the Predators edged Winnipeg 6-5 on February 27, the last time the Jets lost at home.

Game 7, if necessary, would be back in Nashville next Thursday.

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