WINNIPEG — P.K. Subban may have guaranteed a win in Game 6, but it was Filip Forsberg and Pekka Rinne who made it happen.
Forsberg scored two highlight-reel goals and Rinne had a 34-save shutout as the Nashville Predators forced a Game 7 with a 4-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets Monday.
Rinne said he looked up at the scoreboard to see the replays of Forsberg’s goals. He couldn’t decide which of the Swedish forward’s seven playoff goals in the first two rounds has been the most impressive.
“I feel like these two series that already (Forsberg has) at least three or four really unbelievable goals and it’s hard to pick,” Rinne said. “I’m just a fan when I watch him play.”
Forsberg’s first goal Monday happened after he blocked a shot, broke his stick, raced to the bench, got a new stick and then went in and scored on Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck to make it 2-0 at 8:16 of the second period.
His second featured a move where he drew the puck between his legs and then put it past Hellebuyck to up the lead 3-0 just six minutes into the third.
Forsberg also picked up one assist, giving him 15 points during the playoffs, one away from his playoff career high of 16 points last season when the Predators lost the Stanley Cup final in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Forsberg was asked if his between-the-leg moves are becoming more natural and comfortable for him.
“Natural is definitely not the word for it. It just takes a lot of practise, takes a lot of you doing,” Forsberg said. “Just try to maybe do it in practice and stuff like that and once in a while you get time and space for it in a game, you try to pull it off.”
Rinne also made some key saves as the Jets went 0 for 4 on the power play. It was the Vezina Trophy candidate’s second shutout of these playoffs, the first against Colorado in the opening round, and fifth of his playoff career.
Viktor Arvidsson also had a three-point night, scoring Nashville’s first goal 62 seconds into the opening period and putting another into the empty net with four minutes left in the third.
After Nashville lost 6-2 at home last Saturday, a game in which Rinne was pulled, Subban guaranteed the team would come to Winnipeg and win to avoid elimination.
Game 7 goes Thursday in Music City.
“I said what everyone in the dressing room was thinking,” the defenceman 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.”
And he singled out Forsberg’s skills.
“He pulls off certain moves out there only a handful of guys can pull off in this league,”Subban said. “It’s a playoff game and he’s doing huge things like that.
“He’s stepped up like that in playoffs for us before and we’re going to need that to continue.”