Jets win wild Game 3

A huge lead opened up for Nashville, but they could not hold as the Jets depth was on full display in Game 3

Jets win wild Game 3
Alexei Emelin (25) of the Nashville Predators and Bryan Little (18) of the Winnipeg Jets battle it out in Game 3. (Photo: The Tennessean)
Nashville
Winnipeg
Nashville: 1st M. Fisher (1), R. Hartman, M. Ekholm 4:53 | P.K. Subban (2), F. Forsberg, R. Johansen 10:06 | A. Watson (5), M. Ekholm 3rd F.Forsberg (5), R. Johansen, P.K. Subban 7:40
Winnipeg: 2nd P. Stastny (3) J. Trouba 2:38 | D. Byfuglien (2), B. Little, T. Myers 5:11 | J. Trouba (2), B. Wheeler, P. Stastny 5:29 | D. Byfuglien (3), P.Laine, P. Stastny 3rd B. Wheeler (3), M. Scheifele, D. Byfuglien 16:01 | B. Wheeler (3), M. Scheifele 19:09 | B. Tanev (4), A. Lowry 19:29

Perfect road start

The Nashville Predators entered the MTS center and shut the crowd down early. The rink was full and there were nearly 30,000 people outside watching.

The rink was in full white-out mode and there were only a few Nashville jerseys in attendance.

The rink was loud, but the home team was not ready for the game to start. Ben Chariot laid a big hit on Ryan Hartman and the puck found its way to the point and Mike Fisher found the back of the net.

It was his first goal in 30 playoff games and he was being made fun of throughout the game. The home faithful calling him Mr. Underwood, but he got the last laugh.

Just over five minutes later Blake Wheeler was called for tripping and Nashville converted. It was their second power play of the period and P.K. Subban scored to increase the lead. It was his second goal of the series and it was not a good goal for Connor Hellebuyck.

He saw the puck straight on and it dipped under his arm.

With less than three minutes remaining in the period, Austin Watson scored off a bad change from the Winnipeg Jets and increased the lead to 3-0. It was another bad goal and it was a perfect road period for the Predators.

Momentum shift

The first period was all Nashville and the second was different. After the puck was dropped you could tell the game was shifting and the Jets took control.

2:38 into the third period Winnipeg got on the board. The Predators iced the puck and they could not clear the zone. Jacob Trouba's shot from the point hit Paul Stastny's leg and beat Pekka Rinne

Mark Scheifele and Austin Watson were both called for charging and boarding minors and the game was 4-on-4. The ice was wide open and Winnipeg took advantage. Dustin Byfuglien made it a one-goal game with a shot from the point through a screen.

18 seconds later Jacob Trouba was found at the side of the net after a nifty pass from captain Blake Wheeler. He beat Rinne blocker side and the game was suddenly tied. The building was alive and the Predators were overwhelmed.

Late second-period goal

With only 45 seconds remaining in the second period, the Jets continued to attack. Patrik Laine led the game with five shots and he decided to become a play-maker. He spotted Dustin Byfuglien open on the far side and he made no mistake. 

The Jets took the lead into the intermission. Head coach of Nashville, Peter Laviolette was upset with several calls in the period. 

The Jets' big stars were not the most prominent with three goals coming from their defensive core.

Third-period thriller

The Winnipeg Jets took the momentum of the second period and took it into the third period. They controlled the pace of the game and were in full control. Jack Roslovic took a penalty and that turned the tide.

Filip Forsberg scored on the powerplay to tie the game at four. With less than six minutes to play in the game, P.K. Subban took a high sticking penalty and it proved to be fatal. Blake Wheeler scored his second of the postseason of a rebound and the Jets restored the lead. 

Wheeler then collected an empty net goal to put the game on ice. Brandon Tanev also had an empty net goal, his third in three games. 

Huge night for Byfuglien

Dustin Byfuglien finished the game with three points and a +3. He also made some key defensive plays and was very physical (he's 6'5", 260lbs) He played a game-high 27 minutes and has been huge (pardon the pun) for the Jets this postseason.

Connor Hellebuyck also had a strong 40 minutes after a rusty and shaky opening 20 for Winnipeg.

Game 4 goes Thursday night from Winnipeg.

Will Nashville get the split and head home 2-2? leave your comments below