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Mike Smith Jersey
02-15-2019, 06:53 AM,
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Mike Smith Jersey
NASHVILLE Youth Matthew Tkachuk Jersey , Tenn. (AP) Connor Hellebuyck loves what he’s seeing in his first NHL postseason, and the 24-year-old goalie is doing his best to make sure the Winnipeg Jets do much more than just stick around.Hellebuyck made 47 saves and the Jets beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Friday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal between the NHL’s top teams in the regular season.”I love the intensity, I love the game in front of me,” Hellebuyck said about the playoffs. ”It’s awesome and a little different. Intense is the right way to put it.”Not only did the teams top the standings, this series is the first between clubs with the most combined points ever before a conference finals after Nashville (117) edged Winnipeg (114) for the Presidents’ Trophy.Both the Jets and Predators brought a Vezina finalist into this series. Hellebuyck outdueled veteran Pekka Rinne, who was pulled after the second period after giving up three goals on 16 shots. Hellebuyck, who finished off Minnesota with back-to-back shutouts, picked up where he left off a week ago.Hellebuyck stretched his shutout streak to 163 minutes before Nashville finally scored. Coach Paul Maurice said the Jets weren’t at their best and can play better.”But we pay our goaltender, too,” Maurice said.Mark Scheifele scored two goals, including an empty-netter as the Jets were outshot 48-19. Brandon Tanev and Paul Stastny also scored to help the Jets – the NHL’s best home team in the regular season – steal home-ice advantage.Kevin Fiala scored for the Predators, which had won 11 of their last 14 playoff games in Nashville. Several Predators said they thought this was perhaps their best game of the season, talk coach Peter Laviolette didn’t share.”You give me two choices on where to be, our game or their win Michael Frolik Jersey , I’d take the win,” Laviolette said. ”It’s about winning hockey games right now.”The Predators had the sparkling pregame show with the retractable screen dropping from the ceiling and country star Dierks Bentley singing the U.S. anthem, and a couple catfish hit the ice before the puck drop to boot. Then they pelted Hellebuyck with 15 of the first 19 shots.Then the Jets scored the game’s first goal for a sixth straight playoff game. Tanev’s wrister beat Rinne’s outstretched right skate at 14:51 of the first.Nashville finished the period with 20 shots, a franchise postseason record for a period, with Hellebuyck continuing his shutout streak started with consecutive shutouts to finish off Minnesota in the first round.”He was awesome,” Jets forward Blake Wheeler said about Hellebuyck. ”They were throwing everything at the net. What we were trying to do in front of him was just get bodies, get sticks, let him see things. You could tell early on if he was seeing the puck he was going to make the stops.”The Predators kept shooting away with Hellebuyck making every save, and the Jets proved very opportunistic. Stastny scored off a rebound of Patrik Laine’s shot at 9:01 of the second on Winnipeg’s ninth shot for a 2-0 lead.Filip Forsberg, Nashville’s postseason scoring leader, hit the post on the power play with 3:31 left. 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.Fiala at least helped Nashville avoid being shut out with his wrister 1:23 into the third . Not even pulling backup goalie Juuse Saros with more than 2 minutes left helped.”For us right now, there’s a few things we have to clean up, a couple of mistakes cost us Authentic Mikael Backlund Jersey , but bounces are going to happen in a hockey game, that’s just the way it is,” Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban said. ”We’ll be ready to go on Sunday. Let’s do that for the rest of the series, we’re going to be a happy bunch at the end of it.NOTES: Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis went to the locker room after being clipped on the cheek by the skate of Jets defenseman Ben Chiarot early in the third. … Austin Watson, who had seven points in the first round for Nashville, did not return after playing 4:09 of the first period. Laviolette said an update on Watson is expected Saturday.UP NEXTGame 2 is Sunday night in Nashville.— VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Patrick Kane hopes to whet his palate again Wednesday night.The Chicago winger is riding a six-game point streak as the Blackhawks prepare to visit the Vancouver Canucks in the first contest of a three-game road trip through Western Canada.“It’s always fun scoring goals,” Kane told reporters Tuesday in Chicago. “So I think when you get a taste of that, you feel like you’re getting hot. You want to keep it going.”Article continues below ...Kane ranks among the National Hockey League’s top scorers with 11 goals and seven assists after his latest run yielded six and four. He has earned a point in all but one of Chicago’s 12 games.The Canucks are not the same version of the squad that waged several heated playoff and regular-season battles with the Blackhawks in the past. But Kane will not have trouble getting motivated for Wednesday’s contest against a young Vancouver club that has surprised people despite enduring several injuries to key players.“That was always a fun rivalry,” Kane said. “I know it’s not the same as it once was. But it’s still fun to go into Vancouver and play in that rink.”But the Blackhawks have not had much fun on the power play lately. Kane and company have only scored on two of 14 power-play opportunities in the past four games. The Blackhawks split those contests.“I think we need to do a better job of recovering (the puck) off the (first) shot, and maybe some plays will open up,” Kane said. “But it’s still a work in progress.”Chicago coach Joel Quenneville wants his club to get off to a good start on what he calls “an all-important three-game trip.”“We’re playing three teams that are all in the (playoff) mix,” Quenneville told reporters. “All are improved. They’re all younger and have some speed through the lineup.”Swedish rookie Elias Pettersson, 19 Mike Smith Jersey , is one player who has added to Vancouver’s speed this season. He has also provided some scoring punch to make up for the retirements of Daniel and Henrik Sedin.Pettersson scored two goals, including the winner, Monday as the Canucks posted a 5-2 home win over the Minnesota Wild, who had won five straight beforehand. Despite missing six games to a concussion, he has seven goals in as many games — including a pair of two-goal performances.“He gets the building going like no other player — like Hank and Danny (Sedin) used to do, so it’s nice,” Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom told reporters.“He has really good hockey sense, and it’s not just offensively,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “He’s got a good mind for the game and his details are sharp.”Pettersson’s on-ice sharpness was evident Monday as he scored on a one-timer and then capitalized on a breakaway after blocking a shot and taking a lead pass from Brock Boeser. The rookie said he wants to do his best at everything to help the team win.“If I have to block a shot, I’ll do my best at that, too,” he said.The Canucks will likely need another strong effort from him against Chicago. Vancouver lost center Brandon Sutter to an apparent shoulder injury against Minnesota. Coach Travis Green said Sutter is expected to be out “weeks.”The Canucks are also again expected to be without injured defensemen Alex Edler (knee) and Chris Tanev (hip) as well as winger Sven Baertschi (concussion). Vancouver called up two forwards — Brendan Gaunce and Darren Archibald — from Utica of the American Hockey League on Monday. That suggests another forward could also be unable to suit up.“I don’t know what’s going on around this team,” Markstrom said. “We keep getting injuries.”
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