Each day during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you game times and broadcast information.
Winnipeg Jets 4, Vegas Golden Knights 2 (WPG leads series 1-0)
At least for one night, the Vegas Golden Knights’ magic ran out as the Winnipeg Jets took Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals by a 4-2 score. Blake Wheeler’s three assists and Connor Hellebuyck 19 saves were enough to stop the Golden Knights’ charge and deal them their first Game 1 loss in franchise history.
Winnipeg started the game strong and didn’t look back after a three-goal first period outburst. Dustin Byfgulien struck early with a slap shot from the point just 1:05 in. Patrik Laine followed up Byfgulien’s goal with a one-timer snap shot that beat Marc-Andre Fleury on his blocker side. Joel Armia then made it 3-0 on a controversial play in which contact was made with Fleury. The referee initially waved the goal off but Paul Maurice challenged it, and the Toronto situation room agreed that it was a good goal, giving the Jets a three goal lead.
Despite a goal from William Karlsson to put the Golden Knights within a pair of goals, the Knights could not mount much of a comeback in the third period. An ear-splitting Winnipeg crowd called for the Golden Knights to put in backup Malcolm Subban after the Jets scored their fourth goal on Fleury. The Jets’ high-powered offense continues to be a problem for its playoff opponents, scoring 15 goals combined over the last four games. Winnipeg will look to take a 2-0 series lead on Monday in Game 2. - Justin Lape
Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning (WAS leads 1-0)
8:00 p.m., NBCSN
- Paging the Thunder: With only 21 shots, including just two in the opening period that saw them fall behind 2-0, the Lightning offensive attack failed to arrive on time for the Eastern Conference Final. Behind Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, the Bolts know they have plenty of firepower on hand, but they must show it in Game 2, or risk heading out on the road down 2-0.
- Power Play Punch: While the Capitals outplayed the Lightning in many facets of the game in Game 1, the power play was certainly an area the Caps executed well. In converting two of their four chances, including a massive quick strike from Alex Ovechkin near the end of the first period, the Caps served notice that they are executing at a high level right now. When the Caps’ power play is rolling, it seems to jumpstart their offense across the board. Seeing how those sequences turn out as the series continues will tell you a lot about how the rest of the competition may play out.
- Backstrom back, but when? Caps coach Barry Trotz reiterqted Saturday that he is hopeful to have Nicklas Backstrom back in the lineup sometime later in the series. Backstrom missed Game 6 of the Penguins series and Game 1 in Tampa while dealing with a right hand injury. The veteran center is certainly a big part of the Capitals roster, but they have shown no ill effects in his absence as of yet, which has allowed Trotz and Backstrom to take his recovery slow. Lars Eller continues to fill in as the center between T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana. - Andy House