Western Conference Game 1 recaps
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings
Final: Vegas Golden Knights 1 – Kings 0
The Vegas Golden Knights were able to win their first playoff game in franchise history with a goal by Shea Theodore in the 1st period. The Kings have much more advantage in the playoffs and during the first game the Kings lead the Golden Knights with hit 68-59. Even though the Kings outhit the Knights, the Knights played physical from the start. Carrier led with 10 hits but Vegas countered throughout the game with an aggressive style even with dealing with forechecks. Carriers managed to get under the skin of defenseman Doughty which resulted in Doughty slamming his shoulder into the jaw of Carrier during the 3rd period. The Golden Knights have dealt with many injuries this season and the addition of Carrier doesn’t help the case for the Golden Knights during the post season. Carrier is considered to be day-to-day following the injury.
Shea Theordore received a beautifully timed pass by Tomas Nosek which resulted in a wrist shot that traveled through traffic and ultimately found the back of the net for the Golden Knights first ever goal in the postseason.
The Kings were not able to capitalize on the man advantage opportunities as the Kings went 0-3. The Kings had an opportunity to tie the game in the 2nd period when Dustin Brown found the rebound by Doughty. Brown had an empty net within feet of him but his shot traveled over the goal.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for his 11th career shutout. Jonathan Quick allowed just one goal on 28 shot attempts resulting in a .964 save percentage.
Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets
Final: Jets 3 – Wild 2
Patrick Laine tied the game just five minutes into the final period after the Minnesota Wild scored two goals within the first four minutes of the 3rd period. Jets defenseman Joe Morrow scored the final goal of the game with 6:13 remaining in the final period. With that final goal and a good defensive effort by the Jets, the win on Wednesday night was the first win in franchise history. The Jets were formerly known as the Atlanta Thrashers and this is just the third playoff appearance for the franchise. In 2007, the team was swept by the New York Rangers and nearly ten years later during the 2015 playoffs the Jets were swept by the Anaheim Ducks.
The goal by Morrow was a one timer set up by Nikolaj Ehlers. During the 1st period, the Jets came out aggressive outshooting the Wild 13-4 which included a couple impressive saves by Dubnyk within the final minutes of the period. During the 3rd period while the Wild attempted to tie the score Matt Cullen was able to capitalize on the opportunity and beat Hellebuyck on the blocker side and gained the lead following a Winnipeg turnover.
Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck allowed two goals on 20 shot attempts and finished with a .900 save percentage. While, Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals on 40 attempts and finished with a .925 save percentage.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. LA Kings on Friday, April 13th at 10PM
Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets on Friday, April 13th at 7:30PM