NHL 2nd round playoff action this evening and we will see a pair of teams from the Central Division square off as the Winnipeg Jets pay a visit to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee to rumble with the Nashville Predators in game one of their best-of-seven series. The Preds took three of the four meetings between these teams in the regular season. Goalie Probables: Getting the nod for the Jets will be Connor Hellebuyck and he will be opposed by Pekka Rinne.
The Jets Flew High Against The Wild
The Winnipeg Jets came into their opening round series against the Minnesota Wild having won 11 of their last 12 games and they really kept that momentum going as they took out the Wild in five games, with the final two games of that series being shutouts. They have now won 15 of their last 17 games and have they have allowed an average of just 2.47 gpg in those games. This is a scary team at the moment and they now have their sights set on taking out the top team in the league. This should be a dynamite series. The Jets are off a 5-0 win with four of those goals coming in the first 11:59 of the game. Connor Hellebuyck did the rest after that. Scoring in the win was Jacob Trouba, which was his 4th of the year, Bryan Little, which was his 17th, Brandon Tanev, which was his 9th, Joel Armia, which was his 12th and Mark Scheifele, which was his 4th of the series and 27th of the year. The Jets have gone 21-22 out on the road for the year and they have averaged 2.81 gpg and have allowed 2.81 gpg in those games.
Connor Hellebuyck will get the nod for the Jets in this one and he went 4-1 with a 1.93 GAA and a .924 save percentage in this his first year playing in the postseason. During the regular season, he was 44-20 with a 2.36 GAA and a .924 save percentage overall, including 14-13 with a 2.42 GAA and a .927 save percentage on the road. Hellebuyck has gone 6-5 with a 3.20 GAA and a .908 save percentage against the Predators in his career (Regular season).
Winnipeg has been a decent offensive team in the playoffs as they come in ranked 7th in scoring at 3.20 gpg, while also ranking 5th in shots taken (33.8 spg) and 7th in power play conversions, converting on 23.1% of their chances. They have been very solid at the defensive end of the ice, during the postseason, as they come in ranked 4th in goals allowed, giving up 1.80 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots allowed (25.2 spg) and 11th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 23.1% of their chances.
Preds Pound Avs In Game Six To Move On
The Nashville Predators are the top seed in the Western Conference, but they didn’t play like they were for much of their series with the Colorado Avalanche in the first round. Still, they won the series in six games, with the final game being the best they played as they won that game by a score of 5-0. The Preds really can’t afford mediocre play in this series or the jets will make them pay. The Preds have now won 23 of their last 31 games and they have allowed just 2.38 gpg over that stretch. It could be very tough to score on both goalies in this series. Scoring in the game six win against the Avs was Mattias Ekholm, which was his 11th of the year, Austin Watson, which was his 4th of the series and 18th of the year, Filip Forsberg, which was his 4th of the series and 30th of the year, Nick Bonino, which was his 2nd of the series and 14th of the year and Viktor Arvidsson, which was his 2nd of the series and 31st of the year. The Preds have gone 30-14 here at home and they have averaged 3.39 gpg and have allowed 2.55 gpg in those games.
Getting the call for the Predators will be Pekka Rinne and he was 4-2 with a .909 save percentage against the Avs and is now 40-36 with a 2.37 GAA and a .917 save percentage in the playoffs in his career. During the regular season, he was 42-17 with a 2.31 GAA and a .927 save percentage overall, including 25-8 with a 2.51 GAA and a .919 save percentage here at home. In his career (Regular season), he has gone 15-4 with a 2.41 GAA and a .916 save percentage against the Jets.
The Predators have been a very solid offensive team during the postseason as they enter this game ranked 4th in scoring at 3.67 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots taken (35.3 spg) and 12th in power play conversions, converting on 15.8% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been average as they come in ranked 6th in goals allowed, giving up 2.50 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots allowed (28.7 spg) and 4th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 10.0% of their chances.
- 7-0 in their last seven when their opponent allows two goals or less in their previous game
- 19-7 in their last 26 vs. a team with a winning record
- None Available
The Winnipeg Jets are playing very well at the moment, but the Nashville Predators have been a very strong home team on the year. This should be a dynamite series and I feel that the Jets can steal game one. They had a much easier time in the first round than the Predators did, plus they have won 15 of their last 17 games, so they are very much on a roll at the moment. Pekka Rinne has great numbers against the Jets in his career, but he did not play all that well for much of the first round and Connor Hellebuyck had a 1.93 GAA in his first round against the Wild. I look for a very spirited battle between these teams and in the end, it should be the Jets that walk away with the 1-0 series lead.