May 2 (UPI) — The Winnipeg Jets erased a three-goal deficit to beat the Nashville Predators 7-4 in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup playoffs series.
Mike Fisher, P.K. Subban and Austin Watson had the lamp burning in the first period, giving the Predators a 3-0 lead and tormenting Connor Hellebuyck between the pipes Tuesday at Bells MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“We have a certain way we want to play,” Jets coach Paul Maurice told reporters. “I don’t know if relaxed is the right word, but certainly confident and driving is the way it needs to look. We were tight in the first. Some of it we did to ourselves. Some of it was just some uncharacteristic play in the box early, things like that kinda set us on our heels.”
“I just want to make sure that when we play all of these games we walk away proud of our game.”
Then the home team came roaring back.
Paul Stastny began the rally, putting the puck past Pekka Rinne less than three minutes into the second period. Dustin Byfuglien scored next, cutting the deficit to one goal. Jacob Trouba tied the game 18 seconds later, after a Predators turnover behind their own net.
Stastny found Blake Wheeler distantly hovering in front of the net. Wheeler then fired a pass to his left, finding Trouba at the far post. Trouba swept the puck into the net, tying the score at 3-3.
Byfuglien returned to the fold with 45 seconds remaining in the second period. Patrik Laine collected the puck on the right side of the Predators’ net on the play. He then fired a pass to the other side of the ice, finding a wide-open Byfuglien. The Jets defenseman hit a long-distance one-timer, beating Rinne on his stick side for a 4-3 advantage.
Filip Fosberg added his fifth score of the Stanley Cup playoffs 7:40 into the final period. The flashy left wing capitalized on a Predators power play, skating between the circles in front of the Jets’ net before firing top-shelf a wrist shot past Hellebuyck.
But the Predators couldn’t stop the Jets attack down the stretch.
Wheeler scored twice in a 4:08 stretch and Brandon Tanev added the final goal with 31 seconds remaining, giving the Jets a 2-1 lead in the series.
The Preds and Jets resume the Western Conference series at 9:30 p.m. Thursday in Winnipeg.