Hellebuyck Steals Game One for Winnipeg

Posted April 30, 2018

But consider this: the team played 50 playoff games under their first coach, Barry Trotz, who went 19-31 in the postseason for Nashville, winning series against Anaheim in 2011 and Detroit in 2012. And the first thing they must do is find a way to defeat the cream of the National Hockey League in Nashville.

Grabbing the win in game-one was Connor Hellebuyck, who stopped a whopping 47 of the 48 shots that he faced to improve to 5-1 with a 1.77 GAA and a.940 save percentage in this his first season of playoff action. Hellebuyck had recorded back-to-back shutouts to complete the five-game series win in the first round against Minnesota, so he is red-hot right now. The Jets killed off the penalty, and Scheifele beat Rinne with a long shot with 2:09 left in the second for a 3-0 lead that silenced the sold-out crowd.

Both the Jets and Predators brought a Vezina finalist into this series. The 24-year-old Hellebuyck outdueled veteran Pekka Rinne, who was pulled after the second period after giving up three goals on 16 shots. The Jets have the skill to play with the Preds and they will likely wake up and play better in Game 2.

At the 1:26 mark of the third period, Kevin Fiala found himself alone in front of the Jets net and he tapped a pass from Kyle Turris past Hellebuyck and suddenly it was 3-1 with plenty of time to play.

For Jets fans who didn't get a chance to make an impression or two on that beat up auto, Carbone will wheel the vehicle out for bashing ahead of every home and away game for the rest of the series, Bergman said.

They blew a two-goal lead for the fourth time in seven games to ruin an otherwise solid performance in a Game 1 loss to the back-to-back Stanley Cup-champion Penguins.

Despite a great season and mostly strong work in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Rinne's had his low moments in the National Hockey League (as, honestly, most goalies not named Henrik Lundqvist tend to suffer if they get to hang around long enough). Rinne lasted two periods, ceding three goals on 16 shots, before Laviolette opted for backup Juuse Saros. Rinne needs to be great if they are going to win this series.

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"I thought the guys in front of me were allowing me to see shots", Hellebuyck said. Nashville put 20 shots on Hellebuyck in the period. Coach Paul Maurice said the Jets weren't at their best and can play better. "You have some control of it, and you just want to make sure that you execute at the highest level".

Fiala at least helped Nashville avoid being shut out with his wrister 1:23 into the third.

NOTES: Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis went to the locker room after being clipped on the cheek by the skate of Jets Ben Chiarot early in the third. "Even if we're up 3-0 against them, it wouldn't be safe".

Scheifele added an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game.

The Predators lost last year's championship final in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins after being the eighth seed. "We approach every game like it's a must-win for us". "We knew they were going to come out firing".

Meanwhile, here's what's going on outside Bridgestone Arena.