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Photo Credit: © James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

JNGD.S8.G46 Recap: Jets get redemption(ish) from West Final, beat Knights 4-1

The Winnipeg Jets played the Vegas Golden Knights for the first time since their first game series last spring, defeating the defending Western Conference Champs 4-1 on Tuesday night at Bell MTS Place. At first glance, the stats may have you believe that the Jets were heavily outplayed, however anyone who watched the game would tell you that that was not the case. Despite an onslaught of shots and a very one sided special teams advantage, the Jets entered the final frame up by two, doubling their lead late with 2 empty net goals to walk away with the 2 points.

FIRST PERIOD

The first period was relatively even, with Vegas out shooting the Jets 10-9, and being given the advantage in penalties with 2 power plays compared to one for the Jets. Scoring chances also pretty even, with teams almost trading chances and a relatively good pace to the period. Brossoit was the Jets best penalty killer in the period (spoiler: and the rest of the game), which made it possible and look easy for the Jets to kill both penalties with minimal high danger scoring chances.

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SECOND PERIOD

The second period was when the seal was finally broken, when Kyle Connor broke in alone at the tail end of Jets penalty kill and made a move on Fleury, avoiding the poke check and putting the backhander past Fleury for the 1-0 lead. The Jets discipline was an issue in the period, as they took 4 minors, Joe Morrow with 2. That special teams advantage lead to an onslaught of shots being directed at the Jets net, with Vegas out shooting the Jets 26-7 in the second frame, but yet again Brossoit was a brick wall, standing tall and helping the Jets make in through the period with the lead. Late in the frame, Perreault picked off a pass in the offensive zone and again broke in on Fleury, before making a few quick moves and again putting a backhander past Fleury. LB and the Jets penalty kill made it possible for the Jets to not only make it out of the period alive, but with  a 2-0 lead none the less.

THIRD PERIOD

A minute into the third frame, a Brayden McNabb shot was deflected in front by Brandon Pirri, and i have to be honest, i was getting PTSD flashbacks from last spring’s series. However, the Jets seemed to have learned from those experiences and were able to survive a strong Vegas push, and were even able to take the play and control the puck in the offensive zone in the latter half of the period. The only penalty of the period went to Johnathan Marchessault, giving the Jets the sole man advantage, and subsequently the shot advantage. Down by 1 late, Vegas pulled Fleury for the extra attacker, and after a nice chip pass from Wheeler, Scheifele was able to draw in the defender and make a nice pass to Connor in the middle of the ice for his second of the game, and the final nail in the coffin. However, the Jets weren’t done there, as Knights coach Gerard Gallant decide to go for broke, down by 2 and pulled Fleury once again. The top line connected again as Wheeler moved the puck to Connor, who then made a pass to Scheifele instead of going for the hattrick goal.

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Talking points

The Jets penalty kill was phenomenal, in no small part due to the play of Laurent Brossoit. They went 6/6 when down a man and really helped change the tide of the game in their favour.

Their power play, although only 2 opportunities, did not look impressive to be honest. They had a few good looks, but overall failed to capitalize when the team could have used a goal. In the end it didn’t end up costing them, so it really is moot point

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Laurent Brossoit undoubtedly had the goaltending performance of the season for the Jets, as he stopped 43/44 shots on the night. He was incredible especially on the all too frequent penalty kill. He looked in control and in position all night, the kind of night where it would take a high tip to beat him.

THE BOXSCORE

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

For Winnipeg: Joe Morrow… i’m kidding, put your pitchforks down. Is there even a question? Could it be anyone other than Laurent Brossoit? The Jets can almost, almost singlehandedly thank him for these 2 points.

For Las Vegas: Lets go with Brandon Pirri, the lone goal scorer for Vegas, led his squad with 7 shots on goal, having played just over 18 minutes on the night, skating on Vegas’s top line, i felt he was one of their most dangerous players all night long