May 4 (UPI) — Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne was a brick wall in a 2-1 Game 4 win against the Winnipeg Jets in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Rinne made 32 saves in the victory Thursday at Bells MTS Place in Winnipeg Manitoba. The Western Conference series is now tied 2-2.
“We really focussed on playing solid defensively, which we did,” Rinne told reporters. “That was an amazing team game. We played a really solid game throughout the 60 minutes and obviously a big win for us.”
Nashville’s net minder made his best save about eight minutes into the contest. Jets center Adam Lowry was skating along the boards on the right side of the Predators net in the first period. He eventually passed off to Josh Morrissey. The defenseman fed Bryan Little in front of the net, but Little had his shot denied by Rinne.
Morrissey skated behind the net and collected the rebound. He tried to sneak a slow shot past Rinne, but the Predators’ goal tender used the knob of his stick to keep the puck from crossing the line.
“It was so lucky,” Rinne said. “I’ll take that any day. It was so lucky. I wish I could say I did that on purpose.”
Predators right wing Ryan Hartman got the scoring started 17:20 into the game. Hartman was standing in traffic in front of the Jets’ net late in the first period. He eventually gained control of the puck behind Jets defenseman Tyler Myers. Hartman shot the puck between Myers’ legs and beat Connor Hellebuyck top shelf.
P.K. Subban added a second score for the Predators during a power play in the second period. The Predators defenseman passed back and forth with Filip Forsberg before lacing a deep shot past Hellebuyck on the stick side with 5:24 remaining in the frame.
Winnipeg finally lit the lamp with about 50 seconds remaining in the game. Patrik Laine gained control of the puck off of a face-off and ripped a shot from out past the circle, beating Rinne and cutting the deficit in half.
Rinne denied the Jets in the final seconds to secure the win.
The Predators host the Jets in Game 5 at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.