Nashville Predators: In order to win in Winnipeg, these items are key

WINNIPEG, MB - MARCH 25: Paul Stastny
WINNIPEG, MB - MARCH 25: Paul Stastny /
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With the home series salvaged, the Predators now head to Winnipeg, where they will need to up their game in order to keep the Jets grounded.

So far, the Nashville-Winnipeg series has lived up to the hype. The two best teams in the Western Conference have delivered a show through two games, and I expect nothing less the rest of the way.

In Game 1, the Predators dominated the offensive stat sheet, except they forgot to add a few goals. They couldn’t break Connor Hellebuyck, as he stopped 47 of Nashville’s 48 shots. Winnipeg capitalized with speed in the neutral zone, and made Nashville pay. They tallied 3 goals on Pekka Rinne, and eventually chased him from the game. Juuse Saros came in relief for the 3rd period, and was perfect. However, Winnipeg added a late empty-net goal, to win the game 4-1.

In Game 2, Ryan Johansen started the night with a bang. He netted his 3rd goal of the playoffs, just 27 seconds after the puck dropped. The Jets answered though, with goals from Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Scheifele, just 29 seconds apart, later in the period.

P.K. Subban tied the game at 2 with a rocket from the point, early in the 2nd. Viktor Arvidsson then added a blast of his own to give the Predators a 3-2 lead, just before intermission.

Brandon Tanev and Johansen then traded goals, just 34 seconds apart in the 3rd, still giving Nashville a 4-3 lead.  As time wound down, Scheifele scored his second of the game, sending the game to OT.

However, it wasn’t until double-OT when Kevin Fiala delivered his 3rd goal of the playoffs, and 2nd career playoff OT winner.

Like I said, this series has been nothing short of fantastic so far.

Now, the series heads back to Winnipeg, where the Jets tallied the best home record in the NHL during the regular season. If Nashville wants to steal at least one game, here’s what they need to focus on.