Oh What a Night, Winnipeg Fights Back to Win

Ruben Holloway
May 4, 2018

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. "There was no question this team could come back". It is harder still to beat the fans.

The Predators got a big night out of their top line, with Filip Forsberg (three assists), Viktor Arvidsson (goal, two assists) and Johansen (two goals) combining for eight points after being held without a point in Game 1.

The Jets made up for that by scoring twice 29 seconds apart to grab the lead.

Mark Scheifele came to Wheeler's defense to nullify what would have been a Winnipeg power play, but the Jets made it 3-2 when Byfuglien blasted his second of the playoffs past Rinne at 5:11. It was his second goal of the series and it was not a good goal for Connor Hellebuyck.

Winnipeg came out of the locker room determined to not disappoint their raucous fans at the Bell MTS Place.

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Wheeler then took an offensive zone tripping penalty, and the Predators capitalized when Subban scored his second of the playoffs, and second in as many games, through Hellebuyck's legs at 10:06. The only players that went home unhappy were likely the goalies.

There were plenty of goals scored and bodies left sprawling all over the ice.

It was a insane game from beginning to end.

Wheeler notched two goals in the final five minutes, including a power-play marker and then an empty-netter with 51 seconds remaining.

BC-HKN-Predators-Jets, 745Jets overcome 3-goal deficit and soar past Predators 7-4AP Photo WPGT142, WPGT139, WPGT145, WPGT140, WPGT144, WPGT134Eds: APNewsNow. He didn't think it was affecting the Jets speed, but said the puck was bouncing all over the place, especially late in periods. There were no definitive angles shown that disputed the call on the ice, leaving the Penguins still trailing by two goals.

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Shortly after that, Wheeler missed a wide-open net but it mattered very little. Byfugien fired a slapshot past Rinne with 14:32 remaining to pull the home team within one.

On the other hand, if Rinne is able to steel himself a little bit, and the trends of the first two games continue, the Jets may be in serious trouble.

"It's definitely not how you draw up a first period, but nobody panicked", said Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, who finished with a goal and an assist. I remember when I was in college and Jerred Smithson scored an overtime goal against the Ducks in the playoffs. The 37-year-old centre came out of retirement and rejoined the team on February 28.

The first period killed whatever energy there was. Former New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is a Preds season ticket holder and his seat is next to the shooting position of a photographer from Winnipeg. In Sunday's 5-4 victory in double overtime, the Predators fiery defenceman logged almost 40 minutes.

The Jets got an opportunity to cut the lead when Austin Watson was called for high sticking Winnipeg's Toby Enstrom, but the advantage was short lived. Patrik Laine, the Jets lean forward, tripped Ryan Hartman 36 seconds later to prevent a break-away. They then went ahead before the intermission on Byfuglien's second goal of the game. Winnipeg only mustered 19 shots on goal in this win.

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The Nashville Predators had the most points in the league, but they were staring at the possibility of losing both home games to the Jets in the 2nd round of the postseason. They earned an all-important split in Nashville and now have three of the next five games on home ice.

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