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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.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.Maybe they were feeling too good about themselves after finishing off the Presidents' Trophy-winning Nashville Predators and then taking the opener in the West final against the Vegas Golden Knights two days later.
Maybe all the intensity and emotion of this 48-hour period caught up to the Winnipeg Jets and there was a letdown.
Maybe they weren't paying attention to how resilient this expansion Vegas team has been in its playoff run. Whatever it was, they lost their momentum and turned in a sloppy and lacklustre effort against the Golden Knights in a 3-1 defeat on Monday, the Jets third loss in their past four games at Bell MTS Place.
The Jets were mistake-prone and they were unable to unleash their warp speed due to poor puck movement, but the Golden Knights also deserve plenty of credit.
After Vegas goalie Marc-André Fleury kept his team in the game early with stops on Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele (and Nikolaj Ehlers hit the post on a backhand) the Golden Knights turned in an impressive team game.
They were opportunistic and took advantage of their opponents' mistakes. Tomas Tatar made it 1-0 on a second effort at the 13:23 mark of the opening period.