Golden Knights vs Jets Live Stream : The Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets meet in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals at 7 p.m. ET Saturday. Winnipeg is -145 on the money line at home, meaning you would need to risk $145 to win $100, while Vegas is +125 (risk $100 to win $125). The Over-Under, or total number of goals oddsmakers think will be scored in this 2018 NHL Playoff game, is 6.
Can Marc-Andre Fleury keep this up? After posting a .981 even strength save percentage in the first round, Fleury was a measly .941 against the San Jose Sharks, boosting by a pair of shutouts in Games 1 and 6. The Los Angeles Kings and Sharks did a good job of getting pucks through to Fleury, but the Golden Knights’ shot suppression improved and they’ve allowed an average of 23.9 shots at 5-on-5.
When you have Fleury playing like he has, you can rely on those tight, low-scoring games to get you by in the postseason. But the Winnipeg Jets bring a ferocious offense into the conference finals. Tied for the most goals per game in the playoffs (3.58), it will take another strong defensive play for Vegas to slow the Jets’ offense. The Golden Knights have only averaged 2.9 goals per game through 10 games with 19 of their 29 goals coming at even strength. It’s easy to fall behind against Winnipeg, and they can’t rely on Fleury posting obscene numbers every night.
Two images tell the story. The first is how unsuccessful the Sharks were at getting in close on Fleury:
Before you make your NHL Playoffs 2018 pick, you need to see what SportsLine expert David Kelly has to say. A Toronto-born hockey analyst with multiple advanced degrees, Kelly has been one of the nation’s premier hockey handicappers, earning more than $5,000 for $100 bettors this season.
He knows the ins and outs of these two teams, going 18-9 on Winnipeg games and 25-14 on those involving Las Vegas.
Now, using his proprietary models and unmatched knowledge of the game, Kelly has examined Game 1 from every angle. We can tell you Kelly is leaning Over, but he has a strong money-line pick, and you won’t discover his reasons buried in any box score. He’s sharing it over at SportsLine.
Kelly knows Vegas is an outstanding 4-1 on the road this postseason after going 22-19 outside T-Mobile Arena during the regular season. In their two regular-season meetings in Winnipeg, the Knights went 1-1, winning the last game on Feb. 1 in overtime.
Both teams have played effectively this postseason, with Winnipeg at 8-4 and Las Vegas winning eight of its 10 games.
The potential problem for Vegas is that it hasn’t met an attacking team with speed to burn like Winnipeg,” Kelly told SportsLine. “The Jets can apply exhausting pressure in the neutral and offensive zones.”
Mark Scheifele leads the Jets in playoff goals with 11 and points with 16. Three Knights, including William Karlsson, have four tallies.
This series could be won on goaltending, and two of the very best will be between the pipes. Marc-Andre Fleury of the Knights leads all goalies this postseason with a .951 save percentage and 1.53 goals against average. He’s also notched four shutouts. Jets net minder Connor Hellebuyck enters this series on a .927 save clip and 2.25 GAA with two shutouts.
Wild Bill had a year that could have ended with a seat at the Selke Trophy party, but he was not named one of the finalists. His 43 regular season goals earned him some love, but his two-way game was certainly overlooked. He’ll likely have the big challenge of slowing Scheifele, who leads all players with 11 goals.
Will the penalty kill step up? Fortunately for the Jets’ shorthanded unit, Vegas’ power play has only been okay through two rounds, clicking at 17.5 percent. But Winnipeg’s penalty kill hasn’t been much to write home about with a 74.2 percent success rate. The Golden Knights are already showing a need to produce on power play scoring with 7 of their 29 goals coming with the extra man. Averaging only 2.9 goals per game, if Vegas can’t get their power play going, that will cause them plenty of issues in this series.
Can depth carry them through? Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Paul Stastny led the Jets offensively in the second round, but contributions also came through from Brandon Tanev (three goals), Kyle Connor (six points) and Nikolaj Ehlers (four assists), among others. Ten different forwards recorded a point and seven scored a goal against the Predators. Vegas may not have enough to stop the waves coming over the boards that Paul Maurice has at his disposal. Also keep in mind that Patrik Laine has one goal in his last 10 games. He’s due for a breakthrough.