Rinne doesn't make it through Game 1 of Jets - Predators

TREVOR HAGAN  WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILESWinnipeg Jets' Paul Stastny, in Game 5 against the Minnesota Wild Friday waived his no-trade clause to allow his trade from the St. Louis Blues at the trade deadline

The Winnipeg Jets scored the Game 1 upset win over the host Nashville Predators.

The veteran forward agrees the teams nearly mirror each other in statistics, but he tilted the scales a little bit toward Nashville for a couple of reasons.

Despite a torrent of shots from the Predators, Hellebuyck kept Nashville off the board for the first two periods of the contest.

"These guys were in the Stanley Cup finals past year", Little said after the team practised Wednesday in preparation for Friday's opening game in Nashville.

"It's going to be a really tough series and a tight series, so I think that's why everyone's so excited about it", Little said. "That's where we got some of our offence, and that's where they're risky as well". I don't think he has to tell his team anything. "I thought we started well".

"They will get the puck off their stick very, very quickly", Maurice said.

"We are getting real close in the locker room and we know we can trust each other, that is the key". "We'd like nothing more than to upset these guys". Meanwhile, Hellebuyck had now played eight periods - 160 minutes - without allowing a goal. But consider this: the team played 50 playoff games under their first coach, Barry Trotz, who went 19-31 in the postseason for Nashville, winning series against Anaheim in 2011 and Detroit in 2012. The Preds were the better team in game one, but it's the Jets that hold the 1-0 series lead and the early control of the series. As the road team, Winnipeg is 22-22 SU.

"Yes and no", Ehlers said. Aside from his Game 3 outlier of yielding six goals on 22 shots, the MI native allowed just three pucks to find the back of the net in his other four outings. Let's do that for the rest of the series, we're going to be a happy bunch at the end of it. The Jets are a +150 underdog, while the over-under sits at 5.5 goals.

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In Justin Fuente and Paxton Lynch's previous year at Memphis, Miller caught 47 balls for 694 yards and five touchdowns. Love his get-off; extremely high character as well. "There's a lot ahead of us, but that's the challenging part".

"Then you get to this and there doesn't look to be a Cinderella story coming out of this, other than Vegas, but that started in August", Maurice said.

Players were quick to say they played a well and nearly glossed over that ugly span of 4:49.

Nashville outshot the Jets by a wide margin but could not find the back of the net, until Kevin Fiala scored at 1:23 of the third period. That sealed it and the Jets had a 1-0 series lead.

On Winnipeg's fourth shot of the period, Brandon Tanev gave the Jets that 1-0 advantage as he converted a rebound at the side of the net after great play by Bryan Little. Rinne left the game with 13 saves on the night. "Otherwise we played pretty good, so I don't think you need to overanalyze that".

Both clubs also have firepower and scoring depth.

"He was awesome", Jets forward Blake Wheeler said about Hellebuyck. Sophomore sniper Patrik Laine posted a team-high 44 goals, 20 on the power play, and had 70 points.

The shots were 30-9 at one point, but the Predators could not score. Their top goal scorer was Viktor Arvidsson with 29 markers and 61 points. Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban dismissed such talk Thursday, noting this round remains a long way from the Stanley Cup Final.

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