Winnipeg Jets (61-24-9-2) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (60-26-5-3)
When: 9:00 PM ET, Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Jets Get Beaten On Own Ice
The proceedings in the Western Conference Finals were evened, as the Winnipeg Jets (9-5) failed to record a second consecutive home win after dropping a 3-1 decision against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 2 at Bell MTS Place on Monday. The Jets outshot the visitors 31-28, forced Vegas to block further 21 shots and went 2-for-2 on penalty kill, but failed to take advantage of 12 separate high-danger scoring chances. Andrew Copp (1 goal, 3 points during the current postseason) hit the post, Nikolaj Ehlers (7 assists, 7 points) rang the crossbar, while Kyle Connor (3 goals, 9 points) buried the the only strike for Winnipeg, cutting Knights’ initial 2-0 lead in half in the third period with the man-advantage.
Goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves for the Jets, who have now lost three of their last four domestic contests. He has recorded a 9-5 total during his first playoff campaign with a 2.29 GAA and a .924 save percentage and, prior to the ongoing postseason, was 1-1-1 against Vegas previously with a 4.40 GAA and a .857 save percentage. The Jets, meanwhile, are scoring the 3rd highest quantity of goals per game during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (3.43), while allowing the 3rd lowest amount on the defensive end (2.36). They are 4th in power play with a 28.2% success rate and 10th in penalty kill with 74.3% efficiency.
Knights Even The Series
The Vegas Golden Knights (9-3) bounced back from a loss with immediate effect for the third time during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs after tying their Western Conference Finals at 1-1 following a 3-1 victory in Game 2 against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place on Monday. After sitting out the previous three games as a healthy scratch, Tomas Tatar (1 goal, 1 point during the current postseason) opened the scoring midway through the first frame, with Jonathan Marchessault (6 goals, 15 points) adding further two markers on either side of a solitary third-period power-play goal by the Jets. Reilly Smith (1 goal, 14 points) collected a couple of helpers.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots for his 71st victory in the playoffs, tying himself with Jacques Plante for 9th place in NHL history. He has now gone 9-3 for the ongoing postseason with a 1.68 GAA and a .945 save percentage and has posted a 71-54 career tally in all previous playoff appearances put together with a 2.55 GAA and a .912 save percentage. Ahead of the current series, Fleury had picked up a 21-5-0 past record against Winnipeg with a 2.33 GAA and a .917 save percentage. The Golden Knights, meanwhile, are sitting 10th in most goals scored this postseason (2.83), 2nd in least goals conceded on average (1.83), 10th in power play (18.2%) and 5th in penalty kill (80.9%).
- Golden Knights are 14-2 in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Golden Knights are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Golden Knights are 32-12 in their last 44 home games.
The Golden Knights are yet to lose a home game in regulation during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (4-1) and are certain to deliver another solid performance in front of their own fans, having triumphed in 14 of their past 16 domestic contests against teams with a winning road record. The only trip of the Jets to Las Vegas finished with a 5-2 defeat back in November, so a similar scenario is not that unlikely.