Predators come out on top in Game Two double overtime thriller.

Story written by Mark Harris

Heading into this second-round series between the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets the entire hockey world was expecting something of epic proportions. Game One didn’t necessarily deliver on that front, but Game Two on Sunday night more than made up for it delivering an instant classic.

It took a combined nine goals, three lead changes and a total of 85:37 before Kevin Fiala and the Predators ultimately evened up the series at 1-1 with a 5-4 double overtime win.

Sunday night’s game had the speed, chippiness, epic battles all over the ice and it truly was a back-and-forth affair.

If you’re a Preds fan there is no way you can hate the game as a whole seeing as how the team picked up the win, but if you look at some areas of Nashville’s game there may be reasons for concern.

For starters, the Predators had multiple stretches of over 10 minutes of play where they managed just one shot attempt during 5-on-5 play, per HockeyStats. That’s not one shot on goal, just one actual attempt.

The first stretch came in the first period after the Jets took a 2-1 lead scoring both goals in a stretch of just 29 seconds. A stretch like that in a close game in the first period doesn’t sting as much as one in the third period, but Nashville had an identical stretch of poor play in the final 10:06 of regulation before the Jets tied it at 4-4 with 1:05 left.

The Predators went into prevent mode after they took a 4-3 lead in the third period and Winnipeg completely dominated play. The Jets out shot Nashville 14-5 in the final period and also created 17 total scoring chances compared to the Predators’ four.

Stretches like that are a cause for concern specifically in a game that is full of speed everywhere you look. Plus, that isn’t something you want to see from a team that’s playing in their own building trying to even up a series.

While those stretches of play are the glaring concern, Game Two also delivered a huge positive from a Nashville standpoint.

In fact, three positives, and they go by the nickname JOFA.

Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen were lethal on Sunday night. Johansen picked up two goals on the evening, Arvidsson lit the lamp once and Forsberg managed three assists. Ultimately, the trio finished the night with eight points.

The first-line was Nashville’s pulse in Game Two as the three big names stepped up in critical moments throughout the contest.

Sunday night’s game could have just been the preview of what this series is truly going to be with Game One being the oddball. Perhaps each game from here on out will be a drama-filled back-and-forth contest that will come down to which team is the more opportunistic side on that given night.

After all, in Game One the Predators out shot the Jets 48-19 and walked away with a 4-1 loss and in Game Two things were much more even from a numbers standpoint and it took two extra frames before Nashville evened the series.

With the series now headed to Winnipeg knotted at 1-1 the question to both fanbases should be how confident are you in your team to pull off this series?

For Winnipeg you took one game on the road and showed huge positives in Game Two therefore it’s nearly impossible to imagine the Predators coming to Winnipeg and taking both games. The Jets have looked strong through two games, but they still may have one more gear they can reach.

Nashville on the other hand played a heck of a Game One, but looked up at the scoreboard and they were on the wrong side. In Game Two the Preds matched their Game One intensity only this time they actually got a few bounces, but still had poor stretches of play and let the Jets tie things up late.

This series was a coin-flip prior to Game One and it still holds that status heading into Game Three.

Box Score

Fancy Stats

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