The Golden Knights entered Bell MTS Place Saturday to face the Winnipeg Jets in the first game of the Western Conference Final. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is 8-2 in the playoffs with a 1.53 goals-against average and.951 save percentage.
The Golden Knights pulled Fleury to add an extra skater late in the game, but had to put him back on the ice because there was a faceoff near him.
McNabb scored 35 seconds later on a wrist shot that deflected off Kyle Connor's stick under Hellebuyck's glove to make it 3-1.
Fleury, who was a brick wall against the L.A. Kings and San Joe Sharks earlier in the playoffs, let in three goals on eight Winnipeg shots at this point of the first period.
"We've been the gum on Canada's shoe for a long time, everyone looks down on Winnipeg", said fan Adam Williscroft, decked out in his Jets jersey with the accessory of the day - a can of beer in hand. "They're great players, they're going to get their chances".
The next chapter begins with the Capitals visiting the Lightning on Friday night, followed by the Golden Knights at Winnipeg on Saturday night.
Mark Scheifele redirected a shot from defenseman Dustin Byfuglien past Fleury for his 12th goal of the playoffs with 10:06 left in the second period. The Golden Knights are a +125 underdog, while the over-under is set at 6 goals. He's up to four goals and 13 points in 11 contests.
Vegas has created nearly no offense during 5-on-5 play, mustering only 13 shots on goal through 40 minutes. Washington already showed that an underdog can go on the road and get a victory in Game 1.
Another power play goal gave the Jets a 4-1 leave. Winnipeg's Blake Wheeler assisted on both goals. Armia skated through the crease and made contact with the knob of Fleury's stick, prompting the referee to waive the goal off for goalie interference.
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Connor Hellebuyck made 19 saves for the Jets. They fell short in a six-game loss to the Blackhawks in the 2015 final with this core, led by Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman.
Coach Gerard Gallant told a media conference there's no doubt his troops deserve to be where they are. "We're still in game mode".
"I've had some teams that have been very, very talented and they weren't necessarily the best teams", said Trotz, who is in the third round for the first time in 19 years as an National Hockey League head coach.
"We didn't have much of a rest", Byfuglien said.
The Jets allow more shots from that area as well, but it's important to note that the two teams they've faced in the playoffs so far were both very strong at generating those types of chances and defending them, and the Jets still managed a positive differential. And, they were given plenty of opportunities to celebrate in the opening minutes. "For me, it gives me confidence a lot, because we're in the lead and it's easier to play". "We feed off them. I'm sure their emotions are running high but their gas tank may be a little more empty than ours".
The Jets this season have registered the 11th-most hits per game (22.8), but that number has risen to 27.4 over their last five home games.
"That was huge for us", Jets center Paul Stastny said.
"We want to continue to prove people wrong", Perron said. "The two teams we played were very good hockey teams and we were very evenly matched with those teams".