West Semis Game 3: Jets, NHL’s Best Home Team, Will Beat Predators

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Matthew Jordan

Monday, April 30, 2018 2:11 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 30, 2018 2:11 PM UTC

The Western Conference semifinal series shifts to Winnipeg on Tuesday night (8 ET, CNBC) with it tied at 1 between the teams with the most points in the NHL during the season.

Game 3: Nashville (1-1) at Winnipeg (1-1)Free NHL Pick: JetsBest Line Offered: BetPhoenix

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It’s Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night from Winnipeg with the series tied 1-1. The puck drops at 8 p.m. ET on CNBC. My cohort Dana will also have a preview here at SBR of Game 3 between the Capitals and Penguins from Pittsburgh.

The Predators were 2-1 on the road in their first-round series against Colorado, winning Game 6 5-0 to eliminate the Avalanche. In the regular season, the Predators were the best in the league away from home with a 25-9-7 record. Winnipeg, meanwhile, led the NHL in home victories at 32-7-2. The Jets were 3-0 at home in the first round vs. Minnesota.

Nashville was 1-1 in Winnipeg during the regular season. On Feb. 27, the Preds won there 6-5. Ryan Hartman, then in his first game with the Predators after being acquired from Chicago at the trade deadline, had the game-winning goal with just a minute remaining to cap a rally from down 5-3 midway through the third. Roman Josi had a career-high five assists.

On March 25, the Jets beat the visiting Predators 5-4 in a shootout to clinch a playoff spot. Mark Scheifele scored the only goal in a shootout. Blake Wheeler had tied the game at 4 at 0:59 of the third. Nashville gave No. 1 goaltender Pekka Rinne that game off. The Jets put 47 shots on Juuse Saros.

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Jets Got What They Wanted

Winnipeg must be feeling confident back home after getting the split the team was looking for in Nashville. Very easily could have been a 2-0 advantage as the Predators needed double overtime to take Game 2 5-4. Kevin Fiala scored at 5:37 of the second OT, his third goal of these playoffs. It was his second career OT goal and both have come in the postseason.

Fiala is one of nine players all-time with multiple game-winning goals in the playoffs before turning 22. This latest one came nearly a year to the day he broke his left femur in the 2017 playoffs vs. St. Louis. He scored in overtime in Game 3 of the first-round series against Chicago last season. The Predators are now 3-3 in multi-overtime postseason games, while it was the first multi-OT game ever for the Jets.

Ryan Johansen scored twice, Viktor Arvidsson had a goal and two assists, and P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist in the win. The multi-goal game was Johansen’s first since Nov. 25, 2016, which was also at home against the Jets.

Scheifele had tied the game at 4-4 at 18:55 of the third and had two goals, his third two-goal game over his last four outings. Prior to these playoffs, no Jets player had ever had a two-goal game in the team's postseason history. Scheifele has eight in these playoffs, most of anyone. Dustin Byfuglien added a goal and an assist. Connor Hellebuyck allowed five goals on 41 shots, not as good as Game 1 when he was the No. 1 star.

  • Jets are 4-0 in their last 4 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
  • Home team is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings.

I expect another one-goal team and will back Winnipeg for a Tuesday NHL pick. Still like the Predators in the series so they will have to steal one on the road eventually.

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