Predators rally behind Subban guarantee, defeat Jets in Game 6


WINNIPEG — Just 48 hours after P.K. Subban talked the talk, his Nashville Predators walked the walk.

After a 6-2 loss against the Winnipeg Jets in Game 5 at Nashville on Saturday, the Predators defenseman boldly predicted they would go to Winnipeg and win Game 6.

And that’s exactly what happened.

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Jets highlights | Complete Predators vs. Jets series coverage]

 

In defeating the Jets 4-0 on Monday, the Predators knotted the Western Conference Second Round series at 3-3 and forced a deciding Game 7 on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

“If we play solid defense, I like our chances in that one,” Subban said.

That’s the closest to a guarantee Subban would offer this time.

As for the one he made for Game 6, he said it came from the confidence the Predators had in each other.

“I said what everyone in the dressing room was thinking,” Subban said. “We knew right after that game that we’re built for this. We’re built to come on the road and win big games. That’s a championship effort tonight.

“I can’t say enough about this group. It’s the best group of guys I’ve ever played with. They’re good people. I guess the difference in these situations, good people understand what’s at stake. You look at our lineup from our goaltender out, everybody sacrificed their bodies and did what they had to do. Now we’re going back in front of our fans and we have a couple of days to rest up.”

Video: Predators shut out Jets to force Game 7

Subban’s candidness doesn’t always sit well with everyone but that wasn’t the case this time. Goaltender Pekka Rinne and forward Filip Forsberg, Nashville’s two best players in Game 6, were glad Subban made the prediction.

“That’s great,” Rinne said. “Obviously I feel like it’s nice that somebody says it out loud. It’s probably the easiest thing to say from everybody’s mouth. That’s great that somebody says it because that’s how we feel and that’s how we felt before the game.

“Like I said early on, we played too long and too well be in this situation and obviously wouldn’t have it any other way than going at home and having the opportunity play Game 7 in front of our fans in Bridgestone [Arena]. So very excited about that.”

Rinne stopped 34 shots for his fifth career Stanley Cup Playoff shutout. It was his second this spring, the other coming against the Colorado Avalanche 5-0 on April 22 in the deciding Game 6 of the first round.

Rinne was helped out by the top line of Filip Forsberg (two goals, one assist), Viktor Arvidsson (two goals, one assist) and Ryan Johansen (two assists), which combined for eight points. Forsberg’s teammates were buzzing about his goals, each of which was of the highlight variety.

With Nashville leading 1-0 in the second period, Forsberg got a new stick from the bench and collected the puck at the blue line before skating in from the right and scoring at 8:16, just before being pushed into the net.

His next goal was even more spectacular. Taking a centering feed from Arvidsson, he put the puck through his legs before snapping it past Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck for a 3-0 lead at 5:55 of the third.

For Forsberg, Subban’s words echoed what the rest of the Predators had been thinking.

“It’s true,” Forsberg said. “We obviously believe in each other. We’ve been doing that all year. We’ve been proving to everybody and ourselves that we’re a really good team. Nothing’s going to change.”

What the Jets need to change is how they are defending Forsberg, who has nine points (three goals, six assists) in the series.

“We’re just going to keep working hard,” Forsberg said. “We’re obviously going to need another really good game [on Thursday]. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Video: NSH@WPG, Gm6: Rinne posts shutout in Game 6

 

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