Winnipeg (3-3) at Nashville (3-3)
When: Thursday, May 10th 2018
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBCS
Opening Odds: Nashville -155/5.5
Its only fitting that the two best teams in the NHL this season will go the distance in their Western Conference semifinal series, with Game 7 set for Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. The Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators have been about as evenly matched as can be through six games. Neither team has won two games in a row and the road team is 4-2, while the shots (177) and attempts (338) are dead-even when playing 5-on-5 hockey. Nashville was able to grab early leads in Games 4 and 6, the focused on defense in the final two periods to keep the Jets from exploding like they did in Game 5. The Jets scored four second-period goals en route to a 6-2 victory in that contest, using the speed and precise passing that Nashville’s defense negated in Games 4 and 6. Winnipeg has won two of three games in Nashville in the series, outscoring the Predators 14-8. This will be the first home Game 7 (and only third overall) in Predators history, and the first Game 7 of any type in Jets franchise history.
Winnipeg owned one of the NHL’s best power plays during the regular season, but failed to score in four chances in Game 6, including three times in the first period when they had a chance to set the tone. Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, who have combined for 12 goals and 15 assists in the postseason, were a combined -4 with three shots apiece in Game 6, while 29-goal scorer Nikolaj Ehlers has not scored at all in the playoffs. Connor Hellebuyck gave up a goal 62 seconds into Game 6 and finished with 25 saves, his lowest total of the series.
Nashville’s top line came through when they needed it most in Game 6, with Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson each scoring twice with one assist in Game 6, and center Ryan Johansen added two assists as each member of the trio finished with a +4 rating. Pekka Rinne has been pulled twice against the Jets, but made 34 saves in the 4-0 victory. The Predators were terrific defensively in front of Rinne, blocking 23 shots in the game and holding Winnipeg to just four power play shots. Center Mike Fisher did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday with an undisclosed injury, and if he cannot play, F Calle Jarnkrok would slide into the middle between forward Scott Hartnell and Ryan Hartman.
Winnipeg is in big trouble. They had a golden opportunity to win the series at home, and came out with a dud. Rinne has been inconsistent, but he came through big time in Game 6 and his postseason experience from last year’s Stanley Cup finalist team, will show tonight. This will be a tight game, but the Predators pull it out.
Pick: Predators -153
- Jets are 4-0 in their last 4 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Jets are 13-3 in their last 16 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Jets are 4-1 in their last 5 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Jets are 13-4 in their last 17 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Jets are 22-7 in their last 29 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Jets are 6-2 in their last 8 road games.
- Jets are 39-17 in their last 56 overall.
- Jets are 11-5 in their last 16 vs. Central.
- Jets are 44-21 in their last 65 vs. Western Conference.
- Jets are 3-7 in their last 10 Thursday games.
- Jets are 1-5 in their last 6 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals.
- Predators are 4-0 in their last 4 Thursday games.
- Predators are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Predators are 22-8 in their last 30 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Predators are 23-9 in their last 32 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Predators are 61-26 in their last 87 vs. Western Conference.
- Predators are 48-21 in their last 69 home games.
- Predators are 37-17 in their last 54 overall.
- Predators are 36-17 in their last 53 vs. Central.
- Predators are 0-5 in their last 5 games following a win.
- Under is 4-0 in Jets last 4 following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Under is 5-1 in Jets last 6 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Over is 13-5-1 in Jets last 19 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Over is 5-2 in Jets last 7 road games.
- Under is 9-4 in Jets last 13 overall.
- Under is 9-4 in Jets last 13 vs. Western Conference.
- Over is 27-13-4 in Jets last 44 Thursday games.
- Over is 8-2-1 in Predators last 11 Thursday games.
- Over is 7-2 in Predators last 9 home games.
- Under is 9-3-1 in Predators last 13 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Over is 9-3 in Predators last 12 games following a win.
- Under is 7-3-1 in Predators last 11 Conference Semifinals games.
- Over is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Nashville.