Winnipeg (1-0) at Nashville (0-1)
When: Sunday, April 29th 2018
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: NBCS
Opening Odds: Nashville -170/5.5
The Nashville Predators have dominated the Western Conference in the past two postseasons, but they may have finally met their match in the Winnipeg Jets – the lone Canadian team still standing. Nashville recorded 48 shots on goal and dominated possession for most of Friday’s Game 1, but it was the Jets – the No. 2 seed in the West behind Nashville – who took advantage of scoring chances in a 4-1 victory. While Winnipeg managed just 19 shots on goal, its speed put them in position to beat Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne, who was pulled after allowing three goals in two periods. This postseason is starting to make Jets’ goalie Connor Hellebuyck a star, as he followed up back-to-back shutouts to close out Minnesota in round one with a franchise playoff record 47 saves. Kevin Fiala’s third period goal ended Hellebuyck’s shutout streak at 163 minutes, dating back to Game 3 against the Wild.
Winnipeg center Mark Scheifele continues to shine, netting two goals for the second time in three games in the series opener to give him six points (five goals) in his past three games. Forward Blake Wheeler recorded two assists and finished a +2, one of 11 Jets who ended the night with a plus rating. Hellebuyck was the star of the game, but the Jets defense blocked 26 shots (16 coming from defensemen Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, Ben Chiarot and Josh Morrissey). Defenseman Toby Enstrom blocked two shots and played 18:05 in his postseason debut after missing time with a lower-body injury.
Nashville won 66 percent of the game’s faceoffs but defenseman Ryan Ellis was the only Predators player to finish with a plus rating (+1). Four Predators recorded five or more shots on goal (forward Filip Forsberg and defensemen Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi and P.K. Subban), and Forsberg had a chance to get the Preds back in it, but hit the crossbar late in the second just before Scheifele’s first goal made it 3-0. Forward Austin Watson – who is tied for the team lead in playoff points (seven) – left Game 1 after playing just 4:09, but practiced Saturday and is expected to play in Game 2.
As good as Hellebuyck is playing, there’s only so many shots he can face before they start going in. Nashville will play the same way they did in Game 1 and get a win here, because if they don’t, they have to go to Winnipeg – who is the best home team this season – down 2-0. Nashville is too good to lose two-straight home games.
Pick: Predators -170
- Jets are 5-1 in their last 6 road games.
- Jets are 17-4 in their last 21 Sunday games.
- Jets are 20-7 in their last 27 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Jets are 19-7 in their last 26 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Jets are 40-15 in their last 55 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Jets are 37-14 in their last 51 overall.
- Jets are 42-18 in their last 60 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Jets are 42-18 in their last 60 vs. Western Conference.
- Jets are 42-20 in their last 62 games following a win.
- Jets are 35-17 in their last 52 vs. Central.
- Predators are 12-3 in their last 15 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Predators are 4-1 in their last 5 Sunday games.
- Predators are 9-3 in their last 12 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Predators are 23-9 in their last 32 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Predators are 58-24 in their last 82 vs. Western Conference.
- Predators are 47-20 in their last 67 home games.
- Predators are 37-17 in their last 54 vs. Central.
- Predators are 52-25 in their last 77 overall.
- Predators are 2-7 in their last 9 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals.
- Predators are 1-4 in their last 5 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Under is 7-1 in Jets last 8 overall.
- Under is 7-1 in Jets last 8 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 6-1 in Jets last 7 games following a win.
- Under is 6-1 in Jets last 7 vs. Central.
- Under is 6-1 in Jets last 7 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 5-1 in Jets last 6 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Under is 5-1 in Jets last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Under is 4-1 in Jets last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Under is 4-1 in Jets last 5 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Over is 4-1 in Jets last 5 Sunday games.
- Under is 9-4 in Jets last 13 road games.
- Under is 4-0 in Predators last 4 overall.
- Under is 4-0 in Predators last 4 vs. Central.
- Under is 4-0 in Predators last 4 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 5-0-1 in Predators last 6 Conference Semifinals games.
- Under is 5-2 in Predators last 7 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Over is 5-2 in Predators last 7 home games.
- Over is 7-3 in Predators last 10 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Home team is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
- Jets are 5-11 in the last 16 meetings in Nashville.