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Pekka Rinne, Predators rebound with 2-1 win to tie NHL playoff series

UPDATED: Thu., May 3, 2018, 10:22 p.m.

A shot by Winnipeg’s Paul Stastny is stopped by Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne as Scott Hartnell defends during the first period of Game 4  Thursday. Rinne made 32 saves after a disappointing outing in the previous game. (JOHN WOODS / Associated Press)
A shot by Winnipeg’s Paul Stastny is stopped by Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne as Scott Hartnell defends during the first period of Game 4 Thursday. Rinne made 32 saves after a disappointing outing in the previous game. (JOHN WOODS / Associated Press)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Pekka Rinne made 32 saves, P.K. Subban and Ryan Hartman scored and the Nashville Predators held off a late charge by the Winnipeg Jets to win 2-1 on Thursday night and even their second-round series through four games.

Patrik Laine scored off a faceoff in the final minute, but Nashville’s Nick Bonino won two key faceoffs after that to end it.

Game 5 will be Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee, with Game 6 set for Winnipeg on Monday. Game 7, if necessary, would be in Nashville next Thursday.

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 27 shots, but Nashville snapped Winnipeg’s 13-game home winning streak, which dated to March 2.

Rinne allowed five goals amid a series of defensive miscues in a 7-4 Game 3 defeat. He rebounded impressively behind a team that was much sharper in its own end.

The Jets found far less space in the neutral zone, but also saw a couple of golden opportunities bounce over their sticks.

The Predators led 1-0 after the first period and stretched their lead with 5:24 left in the second when Subban blasted a one-timer on Nashville’s first power play.

Booed by the thunderous white-clad crowd every time he’s touched the puck the last two games, Subban seemed to feed off the noise. It was Subban’s third goal of the series after being held without one in the first round.

The Jets had a couple of great chances to tie it earlier in the period. Kyle Connor missed on a pass from Bryan Little in the slot on a power play, and Mark Scheifele let the puck skip over his stick on a 2-on-1 with Blake Wheeler moments before Subban silenced the crowd with his goal.

Laine scored on a 6-on-4 with 50.2 seconds left in the third – his third of the playoffs and first of the series – but the Predators held on from there to wrestle back home-ice advantage.


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