Predators shut out Jets to force a Game Seven.

Story written by Mark Harris

In a do-or-die situation on Monday night the Nashville Predators put together their best performance of the postseason as they dominated the Winnipeg Jets to force a Game Seven.

Pekka Rinne stopped all 34 shots he faced as he and the Predators shut out Winnipeg 4-0.

As for how the Predators did it, well, they went back to the tape of Game Four in which they beat the Jets in Winnipeg 2-1.

Nashville inserted Scott Hartnell back into the lineup after scratching him in Game Five and he turned out to have a big impact just as he did in Game Four. The Predators also got back to clogging up the neutral zone which was something that wasn’t seen in their atrocious Game Five outing. Nashville was aggressive in every area and wracked up 23 blocked shots as well.

The Predators rose to the occasion by getting back to playing their type of hockey while their superstars stepped up as well.

Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Roman Josi and Rinne all had themselves quite the night.

Arvidsson got the scoring going just 1:02 into the night with a bizarre goal while basically sitting on the ice then finished the game’s scoring with an empty net goal late.

Josi entered Monday night’s game in need of a strong outing after being oddly quiet so far in the series and the Swiss blue liner answered the call with two assists.

Game Six had to be a confidence booster for Rinne as well after being chased in Game Five. The Finnish puck stopper was a wall in net and had a handful of momentum swinging stops, especially in the second frame.

All three of those players had good nights, but Forsberg had a great night.

Forsberg gave the Preds a 2-0 edge 8:16 into the game with this impressive goal:

While that goal was special, the Swedish forward had more magic up his sleeves as he let all of the air out of the building with his between the legs goal in the third period:

Forsberg and Arvidsson each finished the night with two goals and an assists each on a combined nine shots between themselves.

Players that needed to and were expected to deliver simply did on Monday night. That’s not to say Nashville’s win wasn’t a result from a full-on onslaught from the opening whistle, but if you’re a Preds fan it has to be a welcoming site to see those four guys have highlight-worthy nights in that situation.

In turning to special teams, it was a double-edged sword for Nashville as it gifted the Jets four power play chances, but was strong on the penalty kill allowing just four shots and four scoring chances. Giving the Jets four power play opportunities could have burnt Nashville, but on the flip-side that penalty kill performance was the best seen in quite some time.

Another way to describe Game Six for the Predators is that they were efficient. Nashville made things look simple, really.

The Jets out shot the Predators 34-29, out chanced them 29-23 during 5-on-5 play and created one more high-danger chance with the final count being 11-10. Those numbers don’t tell the story however, the 4-0 scoreline does.

Nashville got to the tough spots, it didn’t depend on shots from the point, nor did it just throw pucks towards the net. The Predators picked their spots and slowed the game down which is exactly what they did during their Game Four win.

It’s easier said than done, but slowing things down may be the key for Nashville in Game Seven. Most of the Predators’ success in this series has come in situations where they actually slow their pace down just a bit which throws the extremely fast Jets off their game just enough. Nashville has the pace to skate with Winnipeg, but it has shown that it can play at a lower gear as well, change things up a bit and really jump on chances.

This series now turns back to Nashville for the first Game Seven at home in franchise history. The puck will drop at 7:00 p.m. CST.

Box Score

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