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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.
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.
So which team does Kelly believe wins Game 1? Visit SportsLine now to get David Kelly’s exclusive pick, all from an incomparable NHL expert who’s 18-9 on picks involving the Jets.Then Reilly Smith swept the puck off the stick of Winnipeg forward Kyle Connor at centre ice and the turnover turned into a Jonathan Marchessault breakaway goal.The Jets had life with a power play to start the final period. But Fleury was at his best and snuffed out any comeback attempt.
A Connor goal midway through the third period pushed the Jets to within 2-1, but Marchessault scored his second of the game 98 seconds later, as the result of a poor neutral-zone pinch from Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba.A 40-goal regular season and an 11-goal, 33-point run in the Remparts march to the QMJHL conference finals in 2011 earned him a pro contract with the New York Rangers. But Marchessault bounced from there to the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Florida Panthers.
From afar, he always admired Martin St. Louis, the patron saint of pint-sized players. Although St. Louis had moved on by the time Marchessault suited up for the Lightning, he learned a great deal as one of the Black Aces (replacement players) in the Lightning’s run to the 2015 Stanley Cup final against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Last year, he checked in with a career-high 30 goals with the Panthers. Despite his production, he was left exposed in the expansion draft.How did he follow that season up? He piled up a career-high 75 points. He has been even better in the postseason with six goals and 15 points in a dozen games.A player like Marchessault will give the Jets trouble. But there are plenty more just like him. The Jets found out the hard way on Monday.Before you make your 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 13-6 on the money line for Vegas games and 10-4 on those involving Winnipeg.Now, using his proprietary models and unmatched knowledge of the game, Kelly has examined Game 2 from every angle. We can tell you Kelly is leaning toward the over and 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 Winnipeg is a scorching 5-2 at home this postseason after going 32-9 at Bell MTS during the regular season. Even with the Game 1 loss, Vegas is a very respectable 4-2 on the road in the 2018 NHL playoffs.Both teams have played effectively this postseason, with the Knights at 8-3 and the Jets winning nine of their 13 games.”What stands out is the takeaway number, which was dominated by the Jets 10-1,” Kelly told SportsLine. “In an evenly played, hard-hitting contest like Game 1, turnovers are often the deciding factor in the outcome.”
The Jets’ Mark Scheifele leads all skaters in playoff goals with 12 and has also racked up six assists. William Karlsson is the Knights’ top scorer with five tallies.Kelly noted the power play could be an important part of this series and the Jets delivered in Game 1, going 2 for 4 on the man advantage. The Knights’ penalty kill is still a solid 82 percent this postseason but they need to avoid excessive time in the box.
So which squad does Kelly believe takes Game 2 of the Western Conference finals? Visit SportsLine now to get David Kelly’s exclusive selection, all from an incomparable NHL expert who’s 23-10 combined on the teams’ most recent picks.The Jets host the Golden Knights Monday in Game 2 of their Western Conference finals series.Winnipeg emerged victorious in Game 1, winning 4-2 behind goals from four different players and three assists from Blake Wheeler. The Jets scored three goals in the first period and never looked back.
Vegas came into the series after needing six games to get past the Sharks in the previous round. The Golden Knights started that series with a 7-0 win, and they closed it out with a 3-0 victory, for their third and fourth shutouts of the postseason.Winnipeg alternated wins with the Predators for seven games in its last series, and had a 5-1 victory in Nashville to clinch the series. The Jets have five players who have accounted for at least 10 points so far this postseason, led by Mark Scheifele who has 11 goals and five assists.Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and said the expansion Vegas Golden Knights sent a message, bouncing back with a 3-1 series-evening win over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference final.
“Every time we need a big game as a group, we show up,” Marchessault said. “We showed the hockey world we earned the right to be here.”Tomas Tatar scored 6:37 into the game for the Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 30 saves.Kyle Connor scored midway through the third period to pull Winnipeg within a goal. Marchessault restored the two-goal lead 1:28 later.
After losing the series opener, Marchessault told reporters the team faced a must-win game.”If you’re going to talk out there in the media that you have to be better, I think you need to lead by example,” he said. “I tried to do that.””I don’t think anybody is panicking,” Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba said. “We like our road game. We like where it was in the Nashville series.”Winnipeg won three times on the top-seeded Predators’ home ice, including Game 7 last week.
The expansion Golden Knights appeared to be rusty in the series opener and the Jets scored three goals early in a 4-2 win about 48 hours after advancing out of the second round.It looked like they were going to pick up where they left off.”They came out flying again with a lot of speed,” Fleury said.Fleury, who helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win three Stanley Cups, made key stops early and got help from teammate and a post in the opening minutes to keep the puck out of his net.
“Fleury had to make three or four really good saves in the first seven minutes,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “We rebounded after that. We got that 2-0 lead and it was a different game for us. When teams are chasing the lead, it’s tough for teams to battle back.”
Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele, who has postseason-high 12 goals , got the puck past Fleury in the opening moments of the game and Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt cleared it from the crease .Vegas generated offense by making plays without the puck, forcing turnovers to set up goals.”We were on them,” Golden Knights forward Erik Haula said. “That’s our game. We’re a fast team. I think we showed that.”
After the Jets failed to control the puck out of a corner in their end, Tatar ended up stuffing the puck in the net after hitting the side of the net with a shot.Connor was pressured into turning over the puck near center ice late in the opening period and Reilly Smith set up Marchessault, his former Florida Panthers teammate, at the blue line and he scored on a breakaway backhander.”There was about 57 minutes of that game that was pretty good for us,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. “Three minutes of it got away from us.
The Jets closed the scoreless second period and started the third on the power play and still couldn’t get the puck past Fleury.Winnipeg kept up the pressure on by relentlessly forechecking and drew another penalty early in the third. Connor took advantage, squeezing a shot between Fleury and the post from the bottom of the left circle 7:17 into the third.That whipped the white-clad fans into a frenzy – triggering jeers of “Fleu-ry! Fleu-ry!” – and were quickly quieted by another Marchessault backhander that beat Hellebuyck.
The Jets pulled their goaltender to add another skater over the last couple minutes of the game, but Fleury didn’t let the puck get past him again.NOTES: Vegas put Tatar and Tomas Nosek in place of David Perron and Oscar Lindberg. Gallant said Perron was not a healthy scratch. “He wasn’t feeling well,” Gallant said. “I think he’ll be fine.” … The Jets have not lost consecutive games this postseason. … Vegas acquired Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings at the trade deadline for a first-round pick and he played in just his fifth game of this postseason and scored his first goal. “What a luxury to be able to put Tomas Tatar into a game in the playoffs,” Schmidt said. “The guy has been an incredible player in this league and proved it for many years.”