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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 WINNIPEG JETS 1 (40-25-8, 88 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights were hoping to continue their point streak alive with a victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The opening 10 minutes saw one fight, two scrums and three penalties but eventually Vegas scored the opening goal of the game. Pavel Dorofeyev recorded his third goal in his past four games, giving the reigning champions a 1-0 advantage.

Winnipeg quickly tied the game to start the middle frame. The Golden Knights continued to commit penalties which the Jets were gladly willing to accept. However, Vegas’ penalty kill was up for the task and kept the Jets from taking a lead. After 40 minutes the contest was locked in a 1-1 tie.

Both teams continued to battle in the final period, but neither could find the back of the net. With five minutes left on the clock, Ivan Barbashev tipped in his 17th goal of the season to elevate Vegas 2-1. Barbashev later iced the game with an empty net goal with under two minutes left.

The Golden Knights record improves to 40-25-8 defeating the Jets 4-1 on the road in Winnipeg. Vegas will wrap up their four-game Central Division road trip on Saturday afternoon in Minnesota. Puck drop is scheduled for 12:30 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: A weirdly unexciting game between two teams that are going to playoffs. VGK looked a lot better in the 1st period than the final two but they did well enough to keep the Jets to the outside and got solid goaltending once again. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets at Canada Life Centre.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 WINNIPEG JETS 2 (10-0-1, 21 PTS)

Recap: The Stanley Cup champions were looking to stay undefeated in regulation on Thursday as the Winnipeg Jets came to town for a second meeting this season. Both teams had early power plays but couldn’t convert into the opening goal. Midway through the frame William Karlsson snapped the tie, scoring his fourth goal of 2023-24.

The scoring picked up in the middle period beginning with the Jets game-tying goal at the 6:17 mark. Vegas quickly responded less than a minute later on a four-minute power play. First Jonathan Marchessault scored to give his team the lead and Ivan Barbashev followed it up with a PP goal of his own. After 40 minutes the Stanley Cup champions led 3-1.

Winnipeg scored in the opening two minutes to get within one, but Marchessault regained the multiple-goal edge a few shifts later. The Jets had several quality chances down the stretch but Logan Thompson was outstanding in net. Late in the contest, Winnipeg emptied their net which Marchessault happened to notice. The Conn Smyth winner finished off his hat trick with an empty-net goal. The Golden Knights finished off the Jets 5-2.

The Golden Knights record improves to 10-0-1 defeating the Jets 5-2 at T-Mobile Arena. Vegas will prepare for a marquee matchup on Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche. Puck drop vs the Avalance is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: VGK’s power play came through to take over a game that was fairly close beforehand. Defensively the Golden Knights were excellent at keeping the Jets away from the front of the goal which stymied their offense most of the night. Logan Thompson was excellent in goal and fired a sweet pass to record his first assist of his professional career. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 WINNIPEG JETS 3 (5-0-0, 10 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights traveled up north to Winnipeg in an attempt to begin the season 5-0. The Jets jumped on the board 1:30 into the game. It was the earliest goal allowed by the Golden Knights this season. Later in the period, the Golden Knights were awarded a power play which Jonathan Marchessault took advantage of. The Conn Smythe winner ripped a one-timer into the Jets net to even the score before the break.

The Stanley Cup champions took the lead immediately into the middle frame. Mark Stone and Brett Howden connected in front of Winnipeg’s net for the go-ahead score. Howden gave Vegas a 2-1 lead, scoring his first of the season. 15 minutes later Alec Martinez picked up a shorthanded goal in his first game of 2023-24. Winnipeg scored to get closer before the second intermission.

Logan Thompson kept Vegas ahead with several key stops in the early part of the third period. The Golden Knights committed a penalty with under ten minutes remaining the Jets evened the score at 3-3. Minutes later Vegas regained their lead on the power play. Jack Eichel made it 4-3 with his third score of the season. With a minute left on the game clock, Nic Roy scored to give the reigning champions a 5-3 victory.

The Golden Knights record improves to 5-0-0 defeating the Jets 5-3 in Winnipeg. The reigning champions will pack up and head to Chicago for a Saturday afternoon matchup with number one overall pick Connor Bedard. Puck drop against the Blackhawks is scheduled for 5 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights only played one good period out of the three but it was enough to continue the winning streak. Logan Thompson was terrific in net keeping the Golden Knights in the game when it could have easily slipped away in the 3rd. VGK have now tied the longest streak of wins to open a season as defending Cup champs, they can break it on Saturday. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets at Canada Life Centre.

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Stone: “We Just Never Felt We Were Going To Lose”

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This summer the Canadian province of Manitoba has seen its share of the Stanley Cup trophy and then some. Champions Brett Howden, Keegan Kolesar, and Mark Stone headlined the celebration parades in their hometowns or rinks where they began their NHL dreams. Vegas’ captain made a pit stop at his family’s favorite golf course to share the Stanley Cup trophy with friends and family. Stone sat down with Andrew Patterson of Winnipeg Sports Talk to chat about his championship run and being able to bring the Cup back to his hometown. (You can watch the entire interview below.)

The hardest part of the Cup run was in between periods between the 2nd and 3rd, trying not to laugh or smile and stay serious. We knew the game was over, 6-1 going into the 3rd period. We made it 7-1 early. It was hard to play that last period to be honest with you. Our heads were going all over the place. It was awesome. –Mark Stone to Winnipeg Sports Talk

Vegas’ heart and soul donned a two-toned Golden Knights hat with the Stanley Cup trophy standing an arm’s length away as he chopped it up from Breezy Bend Country Club in the Winnipeg Metro Region. Stone was candid and admitted winning 16 games wasn’t all that hard. Especially, since Vegas never faced an elimination game. The World Champions never doubted themselves, well, except after losing 5-1 to the Jets in Game 1 of the playoffs.

I came home and kind of laughed with my wife, maybe it was going to be a short playoff run for us, but we turned it around pretty good. Looking back after that, we didn’t face any elimination games and it went pretty easy for us actually. Winning is contagious. We want to do it again. –Stone to Winnipeg Sports Talk

While the journey began with an embarrassing home loss, Stone mentioned how he had full confidence in his teammates after they performed so well in his absence. After healing from his second back surgery in under a year, VGK’s captain knew he’d return in time to lead his club to a deep playoff run.

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What Did We Learn About The Golden Knights In Round 1

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

Just like five years ago, the Golden Knights completed the gentleman’s sweep of the Winnipeg Jets, dropping Game 1 before then rattling off four straight wins. As the series went Vegas’ game continued to grow while Winnipeg’s felt like it was deteriorating. What appeared like it was going to be a long, hard-fought series turned into a one-sided affair that culminated one of VGK’s best games of the year to close it out.

Win or lose, there’s always plenty to glean from a playoff series. Here’s what we learned from Vegas’ five-game win over the Jets.

Balanced lineup held up in all situations

Heading into the series Bruce Cassidy had a lot of decisions to make with Mark Stone returning to the lineup. Rather than loading up, he opted for a balanced lineup highlighted by three pairs of top-end players on each of the first three lines. Danger lurked after Game 1, but as the series wore on it became clear all four Vegas lines could be trusted in any zone against any line of the Jets.

Nine different Vegas forwards spent at least 20 minutes on the ice against the Jets’ most dangerous player in the series, Kyle Connor. Whether it was home or away, the Golden Knights did not have to chase matchups in this series and it allowed for each line to have great moments at different points.

Plus, Cassidy was able to spread the wealth in regards to minutes load, which clearly had an impact in Game 5. The Golden Knights looked like the fresher team and it’s because they were.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 WINNIPEG JETS 1 (VGK Win 4-1)

 

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to wrap up their quarterfinal series against the Winnipeg Jets with a Game 5 victory at home. Vegas immediately attacked Winnipeg’s zone and scored :50 into the game. Chandler Stephenson tapped in his third goal of the series off a great feed from linemate Mark Stone. After the opening 20 minutes the home team led 1-0.

Vegas’ offense heated up in the middle frame, receiving three goals in the first eight minutes of the period. Stone doubled the score :42 seconds in, William Karlsson scored his fourth goal of the series, followed by a second goal from Stephenson. The Golden Knights took a commanding 4-0 lead into the second intermission.

In the final period the Golden Knights protected their four-goal lead and continued to frustrate the Jets offense. Winnipeg broke the shutout, but Vegas killed the clock and sealed the series with a 4-1 victory.

The Golden Knights clinched their first-round series with a 4-1 victory over the Jets. Vegas will now rest and prepare for the winner of the Edmonton-Los Angeles series. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Vegas has been in the situation of being up 3-1 in a series many times before. They haven’t had a ton of success in it. It seemed like they were aware of that history tonight and were willing to do whatever they needed to in order to avoid the slippery slope that comes with losing this game. They came out on fire with the forecheck completely eating the Jets alive from the very first shift of the game. It was only 1-0 after one period but the dominance of the 1st was just foreshadowing for what was to come. VGK’s best 30 minutes of the series saw them officially ground the Jets (or cut them in half, as I prefer). (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Winnipeg Jets Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena.

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Both Teams Confident Entering Thursday’s Elimination Game

Being up 3-1 in a seven-game series can make a team full of confidence. Especially, coming off back-to-back road wins in Winnipeg. The stage is set for the home team to wrap up the series on Thursday night and advance to the second round. But it can’t be that easy.

The message for us is we haven’t won anything yet. You need to win four, right? -Bruce Cassidy

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

Clearly, the Golden Knights are feeling good about their position and history shows that they should be. In NHL history, only 31 teams have blown a series up 3-1, while 299 went on to win the round.

Five times in Vegas history, the team has been up 3-1 and won 4 out of the 5 playoff series. Twice the organization sealed the deal in Game 5 and the other two series went the distance in Vegas’ favor. Overall, it’s been highly difficult for opponents to overcome a tw0-game series deficit to the Golden Knights. But the Jets don’t seem too worried about the past.

At this point, you just take it one game at a time. We don’t need three, we need one and we’ll go from there. A bounce here, a bounce there and things can go well. I think we have the character in our room to do something special and to do something great. And like we said, we’re looking for one game. We need one game and we’ll move on to the next one and we’ll prepare the same way… We’re inches away from really flipping the script on this. -Connor Hellebuyck, Jets goalie

It hasn’t been a walk in the park for Hellebuyck throughout the first four games of the series. He’s allowing more goals per game, making fewer saves, and has recorded only one quality start in the postseason. The Golden Knights have gotten to the Jets goaltender early and often, but they haven’t broken his or his teammates’ confidence.

We haven’t had good luck so far. We’ve been playing pretty good though, despite all of our adversity. Now, we have to make sure our heads are right and know we’re in for the grind and we’re not out yet. It’s a bounce here, a bounce there. And we’re not asking for a ton, we’re asking for one a game. That’s all we need. We haven’t gotten it yet, and you’d imagine it would show itself at some point. -Hellebuyck

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