The Lightning will win this series over the Capitals but it will take them seven games to do it. Vegas ended up with 109 points in what's been called a fairytale campaign for an expansion team.
The Golden Knights have scored first in seven of their 10 playoff games and will need to do that at Winnipeg, which finished the regular season with the best home record in the National Hockey League. "He didn't let us down", captain Roman Josi said of Rinne.
Marc-Andre Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup victor with the Penguins, appears to have raised his game with the expansion Golden Knights.
Just how far they go will depend largely on the pads of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup victor with Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury of the Knights leads all goalies this postseason with a.951 save percentage and 1.53 goals against average. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck is 8-4 in the playoffs with a 2.25 GAA and.927 save percentage.
Fleury had five days off in between series while Hellebuyck will have had just 48 hours to prepare for one of the fastest and most potent offenses in the league.
"Every time we scored, my phone, my Instagram, my Facebook messenger, was just ding-ding-ding-ding-ding, people [saying] 'get me on that plane'".
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Nashville comes in with far more pedigree in Game 7s after playing two in the 2016 playoffs.
The Predators' second line of Kevin Fiala, Kyle Turris and Craig Smith combined to score 61 goals and 141 points in the regular season only to disappear in the playoffs. The Golden Knights are a +125 underdog, while the over-under is set at 6 goals. The Jets have a positive differential there as well, but the Jets lead the playoffs in shots from the high slot, and allow the fewest against of any team. "We look forward to flying the spirit of Canadian hockey to Las Vegas and welcoming fans on board our jets for a convenient nonstop flight". The final four were all among the top six teams in the National Hockey League in the regular season.
Even more impressive for the Golden Knights is that they've made quick work of their opponents, needing just 10 games to reach the third round, and in the process they've controlled 57 per cent of the scoring chances at 5-vs-5, 62 per cent of the scoring chances on net, and 61 per cent of the passes to the slot. Vegas had a long layoff after the first round and beat the Sharks 7-0 in Game 1 of the next series.
Vegas' players have been penalized only 3.4 times per game in total this season, and 4.7 per game over their last ten outings.
"Vegas is a brand new team, they're both wicked teams, it'll be an awesome game". Already, Fleury has pitched four shutouts - two in the first round against the Los Angeles Kings and a pair in the second round against the San Jose Sharks - including clean sheets in not one, but both of the Golden Knights' series-clinching victories.
The Capitals' postseason history with the Penguins - all-time, they've lost nine out of 10 series against their Metropolitan Division rival - is so well-documented that it barely needs mentioning.