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Winnipeg Jets Advance, Scheifele Sets NHL Record

12 May 2018

What a difference a year makes.

Steven Stamkos trying to win his first cup, same for Alexander Ovechkin or the Cinderella stories of the Winnipeg Jets or Vegas Golden Knights.

"He went through a process a year ago like the rest of hockey club in being young and having to learn all the hard things about playing in the NHL", coach Paul Maurice said.

That's not to mention the bounty of draft picks the Golden Knights extracted from the rest of the National Hockey League, including three first round picks in 2017, that should make them a contender for years to come. The point of being underdogs had long since past; they were and still are bonafide Stanley Cup Contenders, but still there were doubts. They were not a great road team during the course of the season, but they took three of four on the road in that series and outscored the Preds 15-4 in the three road wins.

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Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice, top center, watches the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series against the Nashville Predators, Friday, April 27, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Also defending for the Predators is Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland. "They get put in positions where they can succeed", Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. The P.E.I. native has gotten the most out of a group that was beset by injuries (using four goalies in a seven-game stretch) and lacks a true superstar. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is 8-2 in the playoffs with a 1.53 goals-against average and.951 save percentage. The Knights are the faster team in this series, and have an extremely deep lineup up front.

"Laying it all on the line, each and every night, that's what it's all about", said the Kitchener, Ont., native, who has 16 points in 12 games.

However, steady Winnipeg pressure paid off at 17:50 of the second when Blake Wheeler teed up Scheifele in the left circle.

Laine finished second in the league in scoring, one goal ahead of Vegas' William Karlsson, and plays alongside Paul Stastny and Nikolaj Ehlers. What's more, they tied the 1977-78 Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association for the longest expansion win streak (8). In the playoffs, the 25-year-old has continued his outstanding play through 10 games, recording four goals and six assists. Linemates Jonathan Marchessault (75 points) and Reilly Smith (60 points) complete one of the best lines in the National Hockey League.

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Vegas has faced good teams so far in both the Kings and the Sharks, but they haven't faced anyone almost as dynamic or complete as the Jets so far.

The Golden Knights have been a big surprise this year, while the Jets come in having won 19 of their last 24.

Vegas has managed 29.4 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Winnipeg is averaging 36.4 shots per game over its last five at home. Vegas did take two of three in this series during the regular season, so they do have confidence against this team and Marc-Andre Fleury is hot, while the Jets have scored just one goal in their last two games here at home combined.

While some may begrudge the two day turn around start date for the series it might be better for Winnipeg to get back "at it" rather than rest and wait as Vegas has had the luxury of doing. The team is 3-1 in those games.

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Winnipeg is 4-2 on the road in the playoffs after splitting a pair in Minnesota in its opening-round series against the Wild. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's controversial faith in non-traditional hockey markets has been validated in the recent on- and off-ice success of Vegas and Nashville.

Winnipeg Jets Advance, Scheifele Sets NHL Record