Tonight the Nashville Predators will host the Winnipeg Jets in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round, and the team is focusing on defense to help them advance to the next round. The Predators are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest, 48-21 in their last 69 home games and 37-17 in their last 54 overall. "This is going to be the most fun game we're going to play, and I think a lot of us are going to enjoy ourselves".
Hellebuyck gave up three goals in a 4-0 home loss Monday night, turning this into a winner-take-all fight for the right to play the first-year Vegas Golden Knights for the conference crown. The Jets power-play was abysmal, going 0 for 4 in the game, including three back-to-back chances in the first period.
Winnipeg Jets fans are giving their team some words of wisdom and encouragement ahead of Thursday night's series finale.
"When you think about Game 7, as a team, as an individual, you're just going to give it all and do your best and do it as a team and trust your teammates", Rinne said Wednesday.
Pegged as -155 home favourites for Thursday's game, the Predators will be aiming to record consecutive wins for the first time since taking the first two games from the Colorado Avalanche in last month's first-round series.
The teams have also alternated wins, with the Jets taking the odd-numbered games.
In another near miss for a Canadian team, the Oilers lost Game 7 of the 2006 Cup final to the Carolina Hurricanes.
It's only a shame that only one can move on to the Western Conference Final.
The eventual Stanley Cup champion in each of the past five seasons has won a Game 7 along the way.
One cause for concern for Nashville is they might have seen this script already within this series with Rinne coming off a strong game only to struggle in the next one. Doing so, however, is going to require Winnipeg to play a more straightforward game, one that's more about doing what's effective than it is making it look pretty. Mark Scheifele leads Winnipeg with nine goals, Blake Wheeler has 10 assists and Dustin Byfuglien has 35 shots on goal. When you add in Vezina favorite Pekka Rinne, the Predators have the ability to thwart the Jets' powerful offense. But there's definitely a calmness to it.
Nashville totaled 117 points, compared to Winnipeg's 114. But even-strength shot attempts are 338 apiece with each team blocking 97 shots.
It was the closest the modern-day Senators had come to winning a title since losing the 2007 Cup final in five games to the Anaheim Ducks. I think it's such an important thing. "But I'm ready to get this started and I'm really excited".
"I think it comes back to the experience that we've gained over those last couple years just allowing us to be comfortable in those settings".
"The power play is probably just a microcosm of the way we played", Winnipeg center Paul Stastny said.