The Capitals had won two straight

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The Capitals had won two straight

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NASHVILLE Ryan Suter Jersey , Tenn. (AP) The young Winnipeg Jets have grown up fast this postseason, so quickly that now they are headed to the first Western Conference final in their short history after knocking off the NHL’s best team in the regular season.Tyler Myers and Paul Stastny scored 2:06 apart in the first period, and the Jets stunned the Nashville Predators 5-1 on Thursday night in their first Game 7 – continuing an amazing run for a team swept in its previous two playoff appearances.”The telling stat for me in this series is we played four games in here and never lost in regulation against the best team in the league,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. ”That’s what you worry about with a young team. It’s a physical series. We’ve got some skaters. … But that’s a difficult thing to do, to get out on the road … to play well in here as consistently as we did, it’s impressive.”Stastny finished with a second goal and an assist, and Mark Scheifele also had two goals. Blake Wheeler and rookie Kyle Connor each had two assists.Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves for Winnipeg, which won three of four games in Nashville after missing the Presidents’ Trophy by three points to the Predators.The Jets now host Vegas in Game 1 on Saturday night in a conference final nobody could’ve predicted when this season started.”I like it,” Hellebuyck said. ”I’m excited, and looking forward to it.”P.K. Subban scored for Nashville, now the ninth Presidents’ Trophy winner in 10 years not to win the Stanley Cup.The best season in Predators history ended earlier than a year ago, but in the same fashion on their own ice. They lost to Pittsburgh in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final last June.Pekka Rinne, Nashville’s Vezina Trophy finalist along with Hellebuyck Evgeny Svechnikov Jersey Womens , was chased for the third time in this series after giving up two goals on seven shots. He lasted just 10 minutes, 7 seconds for the quickest exit by a starting goalie in a Game 7.”It’s heartbreaking,” Hellebuyck said on seeing Rinne pulled.Rinne tried to take responsibility for the Predators’ season ending far earlier than they expected.”The biggest moment of the season, it’s a terrible feeling,” Rinne said. ”You let your teammates down, and that’s what happened tonight. That’s tough to swallow.”These teams combined for 231 points in the regular season, making this series the two best teams on points ever to meet in a series before a conference final. This was the third Game 7 all-time for Nashville with a big edge in experience over the Jets playing on this stage.Nashville also brought out the star power once again with Sheryl Crow singing the U.S. anthem and former NFL Titans running back Eddie George waving the towel to rev up the crowd. A couple catfish hit the ice before the puck dropped.The Predators took five of the first six shots, then the Jets stunned the crowd. Myers squeezed a wrister between the post and Rinne’s left skate for a 1-0 lead at 8:40 of the first. Then Stastny put a backhander off Rinne and into the net 2:06 later for a 2-0 lead on just seven shots.Nashville coach Peter Laviolette didn’t hesitate and pulled Rinne for Juuse Saros , trying to snap the Predators out of a slow start while saving his timeout. Laviolette called the goals ”fluky.””There’s not a lot of things that you can do if a game’s not going your way if you can’t use your timeout,” Laviolette said. ”It was way too early to use a timeout at that point. Again, I just tried to send the game in a different direction, put a pause in the game and send it in a different direction.”Subban started the rally with his fourth power-play goal of this series with a big one-timer from Ryan Johansen over Hellebuyck’s stick at 15:54. Subban then pointed to the Nashville bench and once there yelled at his teammates.In the second, the Jets simply dominated keeping the puck in the offensive zone and outshot Nashville 6-2. Only Saros making save after save kept it 2-1 until Scheifele’s snap shot for his 10th goal this postseason from the left circle with 2:10 left in the period. That was the first goal Saros had allowed in four appearances this postseason.Stastny sealed the victory with his sixth goal this postseason on the Jets’ lone power play at 11:59. Scheifele added an empty-net goal with 2:33 left.Wheeler said the Jets will take a night to celebrate a thrilling win over Nashville that was every bit the series they expected.”It’s too bad one of us had to be knocked off here Womens Zach Parise Jersey ,” Wheeler said. ”But night’s like tonight, you try to really soak it in and enjoy it. And then, wake up and get ready for a big game on Saturday.”NOTES: Scheifele scored seven goals in Nashville, setting a record for most road goals in one postseason series. Scheifele topped 10 others tied with six on the road in a series, including Sidney Crosby. … Jets coach Paul Maurice now is 3-0 all-time in Game 7s all on the road. … Laviolette is 5-3 in Game 7s, and Nashville is 1-2 in Game 7s all-time.UP NEXT:Game 1 of Western finals against Jets in Winnipeg.— WASHINGTON — The road doesn’t get any easier Sunday for the Arizona Coyotes.After being shutout 4-0 by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night the Coyotes travel to play the Washington Capitals in a 5 p.m. ET start at Capital One Arena.Arizona (7-7-1) has lost three straight games after a five-game winning streak.Article continues below ...The Penguins broke a scoreless tie with three second-period goals, including one by Sidney Crosby, who later added an assist.“I had a good start and then they scored three in the second there,” Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper told NHL.com. “That was kind of too big of a hole to come back. I don’t think anyone’s happy, for sure. But we just have to make sure we’re not getting overly frustrated. Kind of use it as motivation to get back out there and have our best game in a while.”Kuemper, who was starting in place of Antti Raanta (lower body injury) made 27 saves. He has allowed at least four goals in each of his last three starts.The Coyotes had a four-minute power play late in the second period but were unable to convert.“It looked like they were a little tense on that,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “You get one there maybe you get some juice. Didn’t like that four minute. Didn’t see a lot of leading going on out there. It was discouraging for us.”Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith made 39 saves.Washington is the third stop in a four-game Arizona road trip.The Capitals had won two straight before Friday’s 2-1 loss to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.Sergei Bobrovsky outdueled Braden Holtby in a game in which all three goals came on power plays. Columbus converted 2 of 3 chances while Washington was 1-for-6.The Capitals have allowed four power play goals in their last three games.“Right now we just can’t seem to kill a penalty,” Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “In a tight game Andrew Shaw Jersey , that hurts.”Niskanen, filling in for the injured John Carlson in Washington’s top power-play unit, scored the Capitals goal, his third of the season. He also lost his stick while trying to defend against Anthony Duclair, who scored the go-ahead goal on Friday.The Capitals have the NHL’s second-ranked power play (32.7 percent), but they’ll be facing a Coyotes penalty kill that leads the league with nine short-handed goals.“They’re able to really generate some offense and keep teams on their heels,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said, “And it’s just important to understand that we have five guys on the ice, they have four, but we still need to outwork them and we still need to make sure we’re in proper position to protect our teammates and not give up any free offense on that.”Arizona boasts the NHL’s top penalty kill (91.5 percent).Carlson missed Friday’s game with a lower body injury. He practiced Saturday and could return against Arizona. Carlson is the NHL’s fourth leading scorer among defensemen with five goals and 18 points.Forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is on a six-game point streak, was excused from practice Saturday but is expected to play Sunday.Arizona defenseman Alex Goligoski missed Saturday night’s game due to a lower body injury.Holtby is 4-1 with a 2.80 GAA and .908 save percentage against the Coyotes.
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