After seeing the Bruins, Sharks, and Penguins fail to fight off elimination, the Nashville Predators dug deep and gave the second round one Game 7 after beating the Winnipeg Jets 4-0.
That score might make it seem like this was a breeze for the Predators, but Game 6 began with some real challenges. The Jets failed to score on three first-period power-play opportunities, and went 0-for-4 overall, as Pekka Rinne bounced back from a tough Game 5.
Rinne was just one of several prominent Predators to come up big with this team’s historic season on the line.
Viktor Arvidsson scored what would stand as the game-winning goal just 1:02 into the contest, avoiding a high-sticking infraction to score a bit of an odd one. Arvidsson ended up capping the scoring, too, with an empty-netter.
Arvidsson’s linemate Filip Forsberg was the Predators player who really stole the show, though.
It almost seems like the slick Swede “only scores highlight reel goals.” His first was, somehow, the slightly less impressive of the two, even though he fought off defensive work that would have earned a power play and also roofed it against Connor Hellebuyck:
Forsberg really put things out of reach with his 3-0 goal, and he’ll likely dominate highlight reels accordingly. After creating a great chance that was narrowly stopped, Forsberg made an audacious between-the-legs move to score his second tally of the contest:
Just jaw-dropping stuff.
During this series, the Jets have highlighted their quick-strike abilities. Simply put, they have snipers and playmakers who can turn a playoff game on its head, from Patrik Laine‘s deadly shot to Mark Scheifele‘s all-around play and Blake Wheeler‘s under-the-radar stardom. It’s especially impressive that Nashville contained those weapons in front of what ended up being a despondent Winnipeg crowd.
The Predators, particularly Forsberg, showed that they have the sort of high-end forwards who can turn a coin flip into a laugher, too, though. Forsberg (2G, 1A), Arvidsson (2G, 1A), and Ryan Johansen (2A) came up huge alongside Rinne for the Preds, and now this fascinating series is down to one high-pressure game.
Now that this series is going the distance, the two teams will get a little bit of an extra breather, as Game 7 takes place at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. You can find out which team will face the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2018 Western Conference Final by tuning in on NBCSN or streaming the action live.
It’s difficult to predict what will happen or which team will come out on top in that big contest, but chances are, it will be absolutely spellbinding TV.
Maybe Forsberg & Co. even have a little extra magic left over for what should be a rowdy home crowd in Nashville?