Even the boisterous boos for Preds pest P.K. Subban dwindled. Nashville's fiery defenceman is booed off the ice at the end of pregame warmups. Top trios from the Capitals, Golden Knights, Penguins, Jets and Predators are having their way against top opposing defensemen.
Prior to that, Winnipeg hadn't lost a game at Bell MTS Place since February 27. The exception is the odd moment when he is caught committing a penalty or is dumped on the seat of his trousers. Watson only has one goal in this series, but the work he does for the Predators should be noted. Rinne turned aside 32 of 33 shots he faced, including several key chances late in the game. Some will wear them while taking a sledgehammer to a junked plane parked just outside the arena's front doors. Connor's goals were magnificent, but his assist might have been his biggest highlight-reel play, as he deked a defender with a pass to himself between his legs and then set up Scheifele for an early third-period goal. He has nine points in nine games against Winnipeg and is playing like a Norris Trophy candidate. Subban was dominant throughout. Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist.
Game 3 was the first game that the winning team did not score four or more goals in the process. Both teams are never out of games until it's over.
NOTES: Nashville now is 0-4 when trailing after two periods. Paul Stastny broke the 0-0 deadlock with 13:36 remaining when a shot by Patrik Laine defected off him into the net. He outplayed Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who was strong in his own right with 27 saves on 29 shots.
The Jets got the game's first power play on the next shift, but Johansen raced the other way on a 2-on-1 and beat Hellebuyck shortside for his fifth only 58 seconds later. "We did our job and then they did theirs".
Winnipeg hockey fans showed up with donations and cash for Winnipeg Harvest on Thursday night after a plea went out to help fill the food bank's bare shelves.
Now they are back at home, and have two chances to play for a spot in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time.
They are in Nashville for Game 5 if their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Predators.
"I don't lose sleep", Connor said. "We can't wait to get back there on Monday". "We just got behind by a goal tonight and couldn't turn the switch". The Predators also must stay out of the penalty box. "We know Nashville fans are going to be loud and energized for it and we've got to be at our best to get the win", Scheifele said.
He is back home in Nashville for a few days.
With the win, the Jets took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Central Division final (Western Conference semifinal).
The Jets will either have an opportunity to clinch at home, or to stave off elimination. "I don't know if he'd tell you it was on goal, but it ended up being a great save", Morrissey said Friday of the grand theft Pekka Rinne pulled on him the previous night during Game 4.
"Every game is up in the air".