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WINNIPEG Custom Toronto Maple Leafs Jerseys , Manitoba (AP) The Winnipeg Jets were in rhythm and the Vegas Golden Knights looked rusty.Or, maybe the Jets are just that good.Dustin Byfuglien scored about a minute after the puck dropped and Winnipeg built a three-goal lead early in the first period and went on to beat Vegas 4-2 on Saturday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.While the Jets played at home less than 48 hours after advancing past top-seeded Nashville on the road, the Golden Knights were off for nearly a week after eliminating San Jose in the second round.”We didn’t have much of a rest,” Byfuglien said. ”We’re still in game mode.”Patrik Laine and Joel Armia had goals 46 seconds apart to put the Jets up 3-0. Mark Scheifele gave Winnipeg a 4-1 lead midway on a power play through the second period with his 12th goal this postseason.Brayden McNabb scored midway through the first and William Karlsson had a power-play goal late in the second period to pull Vegas within two, but the expansion team couldn’t get closer.”We were chasing the game all night,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said.Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck made 18 saves.Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 22 shots for the Golden Knights, whose Stanley Cup-winning goalie has given up at least three goals for the fifth time in six games.”He’s the best goalie in the playoffs as far as I’m concerned,” Gallant said.Fleury and the Golden Knights will have to be at, or near, their best when the Jets host Game 2 on Monday night before the series shifts to Las Vegas.”Next game, no excuses www.officialcanucks.com ,” Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault said. ”Everybody needs to come and be ready to play our best game of the playoffs.”We’re going to show what kind of team we are.”Winnipeg, which is making its deepest playoff run in franchise history, started strong and fast. Vegas, meanwhile, didn’t appear anything like the team that took the league by storm in its record-breaking inaugural season.The Jets’ fast, deep and talented team had 114 points this season and trailed only the Predators’ league-high total by three points. Their success has carried over into the postseason, winning all three Game 1s and avoiding trailing a series.The hard-charging, smooth-passing Jets put the Pacific Division champions on their heels right from the start and didn’t relent.”We did take advantage of being game ready,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said.White-clad, towel-twirling raucous fans in the arena – and packed on surrounding streets – were fired up before the game started. And, they were given plenty of opportunities to celebrate in the opening minutes.Byfuglien’s slap shot 1:05 into the game off a drop pass from Scheifele put Winnipeg up 1-0. That ignited the party-like atmosphere in a relatively cozy arena with just 16 Vancouver Canucks T-Shirts Authentic ,345 seats and a low ceiling.”That was huge for us,” Jets center Paul Stastny said. ”Early in the game, too. And then all of the sudden it gave life to everyone, everyone on the bench, the crowd.”Fleury had no shot to stop Laine’s one-timer from the left circle off Wheeler’s cross-ice pass on a power play at the 6:49 mark of the first. Armia had a goal waved off less than a minute later only to have it restored by a challenge, which overturned the goaltender interference call on the ice.”Sometimes getting your legs a little bit under you takes a few minutes here and they took advantage of it,” Fleury said.After the flurry of goals early, the Jets were able to play conservatively to cut down on Vegas’ comeback chances.”We were getting the puck deep,” Scheifele said. ”We weren’t fooling around with it in the neutral zone.”The Golden Knights pulled Fleury to add an extra skater late in the game, but had to put him back on the ice because there was a faceoff near him. They sent him to the bench again and had some chances to pull within one, but the shot-blocking Jets didn’t let the puck get to Hellebuyck much.NOTES: The last time two teams were in the NHL conference finals for the first time was 2003 when Anaheim swept Minnesota. … Scheifele has four more goals than any player still in the postseason. … Fleury Vancouver Canucks Hoodies Authentic , a former Pittsburgh Penguin, has four shutouts this postseason and has allowed four goals in three games.—Follow Larry Lage at www.twitter.com/larrylage— RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) After allowing 19 goals in his previous four games, Thomas Greiss finally had the breakthrough night he and the New York Islanders were looking for.Greiss stopped 45 shots for his first shutout of the season, and the Islanders beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Friday night.”He was great,” Islanders coach Doug Weight said. ”He was confident. He came in and did a job. He made the saves he had to.”Article continues below ...Johnny Boychuk, Anthony Beauvillier and John Tavares scored for the Islanders, who moved past the Hurricanes into the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Greiss got his eighth career shutout one night after Jaroslav Halak had 50 saves in a 3-0 home win against the crosstown-rival Rangers.”It was a huge win for us, especially after emotional last night at home,” Islanders center Brock Nelson said. ”Both goaltenders were crucial. That was a big push for us, to get four points.”Cam Ward finished with 20 saves for the Hurricanes Vancouver Canucks Hats Authentic , who lost their second straight and fell into a tie with Columbus one point behind the Islanders for the conference’s last playoff spot.Jeff Skinner had his game-tying goal in the third period waved off after a replay review ruled he was offside when he entered the zone.”By an inch, maybe,” Skinner said. ”It was tough..I tried to slow up as best I could. I should’ve probably dragged my foot. It was close.”Carolina failed to get a better scoring chance the rest of the night despite getting nearly twice as many shots as the Islanders.The Hurricanes outshot the Islanders 16-7 in the first period and 28-15 through the second. Greiss kept Carolina off the scoreboard with a superb effort, turning aside scoring chance after scoring chance.”We owed him at least one good game in front of him,” Beauvillier said. ”He was really good tonight. He made some unbelievable stops.”Greiss’ work bought the Islanders’ offense time to get going, and it finally broke through near the midpoint of the second period.After a battle behind the Hurricanes net, Nelson fished out a rolling puck along the boards and pushed it to Boychuk at the right point. With the puck still rolling, Boychuk fired a slap shot that wiggled and elevated over Ward’s shoulder into the upper left corner of the net for his fourth of the season.Skinner thought he tied the game four minutes into the third when he flipped a loose puck in front of the net over Greiss’ glove. But a coach’s challenge by the Islanders forced a video review, and officials ruled the puck was offside on Carolina’s zone entry.”Before it ever went in I was told it was offside on the entry, so I wasn’t surprised,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. ”Disappointed obviously Custom Vancouver Canucks Jerseys , but we knew.”The dejected Hurricanes got only one shot off in the next eight minutes, at which point Beauvillier put the game away. He picked up a mishandled pass at the Islanders blue line, split two Carolina defenders, skated the length of the ice and pushed a shot under Ward’s pads despite being hooked by Noah Hanifin.”I just saw that fumbled puck at the blue line there and just tried to get my speed going, try get on the breakaway,” Beauvillier said of his 14th of the season. ”I kind of closed my eyes when I shot at the net there. It was getting pretty tight with the goalie.”Tavares was awarded a goal, his 30th, after he was tripped from behind as he approached the empty net with 32 seconds left to finish it.NOTES: The back-to-back shutouts by the Islanders were their first two of the season. … Boychuk’s goal was his first since Nov. 22 against Philadelphia. He also scored against the Hurricanes on Nov. 16. … Skinner’s waved off goal would have been the 200th goal of his career. … The Hurricanes saw their home win streak snapped at three games.UP NEXTIslanders: Host Minnesota on Monday.Hurricanes: Host New Jersey on Sunday.
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