Jets Score Four in Second, Come Back to Top Preds in Game 3

The Jets scored four in the second period and got the winner on a late power play to defeat the Predators by a 7-4 final in Game 3 on Tuesday night.

The result sees the Jets earn a 2-1 series lead while taking advantage of their home crowd for the first time in Round Two.

The first period couldn’t have gone much better for the Predators, while the second period couldn’t have been much worse. After taking a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play, Nashville surrendered four straight to the Jets in the middle frame, but then battled back to even the score at four midway though the third.

A pair of late penalties gave Winnipeg opportunities with the man advantage and the Jets eventually found the game-winner, but it was the middle 20 that did the Preds in.

“We just stopped playing, clear as day,” Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis said of the second period. “You could see that, and you can’t win hockey games when you stop playing midway through the second.”

Mike Fisher gave the Predators a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the contest, then P.K. Subban and Austin Watson converted before the period was out for a 3-0 advantage. But Winnipeg roared back in the second stanza, tying the game before the period was six minutes old, and Dustin Byfuglien’s second of the frame with 45 seconds left before the intermission gave the Jets their first lead of the night.

“We stopped moving our legs, we did a lot of things poorly and they got better,” Nashville center Ryan Johansen said of the second period. “The momentum swings in playoffs, they can be deadly and they did a great job with climbing back in the game. We did a good job of tying it up again though as well, just an unfortunate ending.”

Nashville’s mindset was back on target in the third, and Filip Forsberg snapped a shot into the top corner on the man advantage to tie the score at 4-4. But seven minutes later, on Winnipeg’s third power play of the period, Blake Wheeler put home a rebound. The Jets then tacked on two empty-netters before the horn sounded.

“We talk about it all the time, being consistent, playing a full 60 [minutes], and no team is perfect, but I think we all know we have to be better all the time,” Ellis said. “We’re going to learn from our mistakes, break down some video, see what we can do better and come back with a better effort.”

The series will continue on Thursday night in Winnipeg with Game 4, leaving the Preds with time to regroup and refocus once more after suffering their second loss of the series. But, as the playoffs go, so do the highs and lows.

It’s apparent which side of the coin the Predators are enduring right now. They have a chance to reverse course before heading back to Nashville.

“It was another emotional game, but I think that’s the way it’s going to be against these two teams,” Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne said. “We have to just look at this game and find the positives and move on – obviously easier said than done – and get ready for Game 4.”


Calle Jarnkrok did not play for Nashville in Game 3 and there was no immediate update on his condition. Miikka Salomaki took Jarnkrok’s place in the lineup, skating on the fourth line with Mike Fisher and Ryan Hartman.

Game 4 between the Preds and Jets is set for Thursday night in Winnipeg and an 8:30 p.m. CT puck drop. The series will then turn back to Nashville on Saturday night for Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena.

Pete Weber’s Postgame Report