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JNGD.R2G5 Flight Plan: The Best of Three Starts Tonight

The second round series has become a best of three as both teams have earned splits on the road. The Jets couldn’t come back for the second game in a row as the Nashville Predators scored early and never looked back in game four. The Jets aim to get back on track with a win in Nashville, which would give them the chance to close out the series on home ice Monday evening.

It is said that nothing ever comes easy. Those who thought the Winnipeg Jets would take a commanding 3-1 series lead going back to Nashville were flat out wrong. Everyone assumed this series would be close and it is starting to live up to the hype. Both teams made some lineup changes for game four and there will be some more shuffling for the Jets tonight as Matthieu Perreault is healthy and expected to return to action.

Winnipeg Jets
@
Nashville Predators

Round Two – Game Five
Series tied at 2-2

May 5th, 2018 – Puck drop: 8:30 PM CST
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
TV: CBC – Radio: TSN 1290

The Rundown…

What did the Predators do right in game four?

The Nashville Predators did plenty of things right in game number four as they played the ideal road game. They started the game off well as they scored the opening goal in the first period to really quiet the raucous crowd. They stayed disciplined throughout the second period as they did not take any penalties or allow the Jets to gain momentum. The second period of game three must have been burnt into their memories as they did not give up many chances and they stayed out of the box. Once the third period arrived, they completely shut down the neutral zone by playing with all five men in their own half of the ice. They cut off all zone entries and made the Jets continually dump the puck with nothing to show for it. It was a defensive clinic by the Predators as they didn’t allow any scoring chances until it was too late for the Jets to come back.

What did the Jets do wrong in game four?

The Winnipeg Jets did not play their best in game number four. They were a little bit slow out of the gate, but they had a few chances in the first period. The Jets took a few bad pinches early in the game and gave up a few 2 on 1 opportunities which gave Nashville some momentum. The Jets also had a tough time staying out of the box as they gave up a power play goal for the third straight game. The crowd was never fully engaged in this game as the Jets didn’t score until the very last minute. The real problem was that the Jets didn’t get many scoring chances in the third period as the neutral zone was entirely shut down by the Nashville defenders at the blue line. The Winnipeg Jets looked slow, and their passes were not very crisp. It was an overall poor performance in a pivotal game four.

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How do the Predators win game five?

The Predators can win game five the same way as game number four. Get a lead early and then defend it for the rest of the game. The Winnipeg Jets have more speed and skill so playing a high event style will probably not work for the Predators. The Jets are a tough team to outscore in a game with many scoring chances. Nashville will want to slow the game down, and pick their spots to attack. Getting another few power plays will go a long way in helping the Predators push the Jets to the brink of elimination.

How do the Jets win game five?

The Jets can win game five by turning this game into a track meet. After being continually frustrated in game four by the defense of the Predators, the Jets need to find a way to create odd man rushes. Patrik Laine scored his first goal of the series and he finally looks engaged in the games and that will certainly help. Matthieu Perreault is also slated to return which will completely transform the bottom 6. If the third and fourth lines of the Jets can put the pressure on Nashville, it will open up more space for the top 6 to score off the rush. Finally, the Jets absolutely need to win the special teams battle as they have allowed Subban to score in three straight games on the power play. When the Jets get their chances on the power play, they will need to convert as the Predators will be looking to shut down the neutral ice during even strength just like last game.

What others are saying…

Player ratings courtesy Corsica.Hockey

Winnipeg Jets Lines

LW C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

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Rating: 75.8#27 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

Rating: 82.5#6 C

Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

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Rating: 82.1#4 RW

Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS

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Rating: 75.6#29 LW

Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 76.4#36 C

Patrik Laine
PATRIK LAINE

Rating: 83.0#3 RW

Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT

Rating: 74.8#48 IR2

Adam Lowry
ADAM LOWRY

Rating: 72.8#76 C

Bryan Little
BRYAN LITTLE

Rating: 73.1#55 RW

Brandon Tanev
BRANDON TANEV

Rating: 70.9#96 LW

Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

Rating: 72.0#109 C

Joel Armia
JOEL ARMIA

Rating: 72.1#74 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Josh Morrissey
JOSH MORRISSEY

Rating: 74.2#30 LD

Jacob Trouba
JACOB TROUBA

Rating: 78.3#14 RD

Tobias Enstrom
TOBIAS ENSTROM

Rating: 71.3#97 LD

Dustin Byfuglien
DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN

Rating: 81.0#5 RD

Ben Chiarot
BEN CHIAROT

Rating: 71.5#91 LD

Tyler Myers
TYLER MYERS

Rating: 75.6#24 RD

GOALIES
Connor Hellebuyck
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK

Rating: 74.3#22 G1

Steve Mason
STEVE MASON

Rating: 71.8#36 G2

Nashville Predators Lines

LW C RW
Filip Forsberg
FILIP FORSBERG

Rating: 82.2#5 LW

Ryan Johansen
RYAN JOHANSEN

Rating: 75.9#39 C

Viktor Arvidsson
VIKTOR ARVIDSSON

Rating: 77.5#14 RW

Scott Hartnell
SCOTT HARTNELL

Rating: 70.2#116 LW

Kyle Turris
KYLE TURRIS

Rating: 74.6#50 C

Craig Smith
CRAIG SMITH

Rating: 75.5#29 RW

Colton Sissons
COLTON SISSONS

Rating: 72.2#100 LW

Nick Bonino
NICK BONINO

Rating: 72.8#73 C

Austin Watson
AUSTIN WATSON

Rating: 72.1#73 RW

Miikka Salomaki
MIIKKA SALOMAKI

Rating: 68.6#149 LW

Mike Fisher
MIKE FISHER

Rating: 71.3#133 C

Ryan Hartman
RYAN HARTMAN

Rating: 72.4#69 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Roman Josi
ROMAN JOSI

Rating: 80.8#2 LD

Ryan Ellis
RYAN ELLIS

Rating: 80.8#7 RD

Mattias Ekholm
MATTIAS EKHOLM

Rating: 78.0#6 LD

P.K. Subban
P.K. SUBBAN

Rating: 81.3#3 RD

Matt Irwin
MATT IRWIN

Rating: 69.4#131 LD

Yannick Weber
YANNICK WEBER

Rating: 68.9#112 RD

GOALIES
Pekka Rinne
PEKKA RINNE

Rating: 78.2#6 G1

Juuse Saros
JUUSE SAROS

Rating: 72.2#33 G2

Gameday Prediction

With the game back in Nashville and the idea of pushing the other team right to the edge it will be a tight game from start to finish. With Perreault back the Jets will take another step forward and play much better than game four. Jets win 4-3