What a weird one in Winnipeg.
In the grand scheme of things, the biggest development may just be a possible injury for Dustin Byfuglien. After scoring two goals, Byfuglien took an ugly-looking fall that certainly raises some concerns.
Either way, Jets – Predators is a clash between two frustrated teams that also happen to boast some serious firepower, and it showed on Thursday in Winnipeg’s eventual 5-4 OT win.
Nashville opened the scoring with Kevin Fiala’s first goal, but the Jets went on a tear in the second period.
Byfuglien scored two of those goals, sandwiched in between Bryan Little‘s tally, and it was 3-1 heading into the third. Nikolaj Ehlers 4-1 goal seemed to scream “Everyone’s really going to bury the Predators after this one.”
Instead, things just got … strange.
Ryan Johansen fed into his reputation of being something of a double-edged sword in this one.
His detractors will trash him for a surprising unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but they’ll struggle to shrug their shoulders at his three-point night.
That included an assist on James Neal‘s tying goal, which happened with just 14 seconds left.
A Predators team that’s gained a lot of scorn erased a 4-1 deficit with only 14 minutes left in the third. Oh yeah, there was even a span of 3-on-3 hockey … in regulation.
A lot to take in, right?
Winnipeg salvaged what would have been a highly embarrassing affair when Blake Wheeler scored the overtime-winner a little less than a minute into extra time. They can say “it could have been worse,” although they may only whisper such a thought if Byfuglien misses serious time.
With that, both desperate teams get something to take away from Thursday’s games, yet each coach can still go red in the face screaming about the many, many mistakes on both sides.
Seriously, though, it was an oddball game.