The Nashville Predators avoided going up to Manitoba down 2-0 as they beat the Winnipeg Jets in Game 2 of their Western Conference Semifinal series on Sunday night, 5-4, in double overtime.
Every game, the Nashville media corps turns in their Three Stars ballots with about five minutes left in regulation. My ballot for Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals was as follows:
1. Ryan Johansen (NSH)
His first goal of the evening was the start the Predators needed, being less than 30 seconds into the contest. It was the first time in Winnipeg’s seven playoff games this season where they allowed the first goal as well so that put the Jets in unfamiliar territory. Then, his goal in the third period that gave Nashville the 4-3 lead was spectacular variety, dancing around Tobias Enstrom and then tucking it under the crossbar past Connor Hellebuyck for his second of the night and fourth of the playoffs. But, goals aside, he was on another level in Game 2.
2. Mark Scheifele (WPG)
His goal in the first period gave Winnipeg their first lead of the game and his second strike tied the game in the waning moments of regulation to send it to overtime. They were his NHL-leading seventh and eighth goal of the post-season and he, like Johansen on the other side of the ice, was on another level, nearly willing his team to success. He also added an assist and finished the night with two shots on goal, two shots blocked and then three more than missed the net. Essentially he was a threat to score anytime he was on the ice.
3. Filip Forsberg (NSH)
Playing his best game of the series so far, Nashville’s regular season leading scorer amassed three assists (all primary, by the way) and finished with a plus-2 rating. He did have a bad giveaway in the first period at his own blueline that directly resulted in a Patrik Laine ringing a shot clean off the pipe but, other than that, he was on top of his game. He now has nine points in Nashville’s eight playoff games, good for the team lead in scoring.