It was an ideal start for the Winnipeg Jets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. They jumped out to a 3-1 first period lead over the Vegas Golden Knights, revving up an already boisterous Bell MTS Place crowd properly dressed for the White Out.
For Marc-Andre Fleury, it was 20 minutes to forget, but he was the victim of some tough breaks.
The Jets took all of 65 seconds before breaking the 0-0 deadlock, thanks a Dustin Byfuglien blast. Five minutes later, Patrik Laine was the recipient of a great Blake Wheeler pass for a power play goal to make it 2-0. Forty-six seconds later it was Joel Armia increasing the lead to 3-0 after the puck deflected off of his skate. It was initially ruled no goal due to goaltender interference, but Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice smartly used his challenge and the call was overturned.
The three-goal period was the third time this playoffs it’s happened to Fleury, who’s been spectacular for Vegas in these playoffs. In Games 2 and 5 of the second round, the San Jose Sharks managed to beat him three times in a period. Fleury was peppered with 12 shots in the opening 20 minutes, making some tough saves that could have resulted in an even larger deficit.
Winnipeg would end up taking Game 1 with a 4-2 victory. For a Vegas team that’s averaged 2.9 goals per game through two rounds, their offense is going to need to get going in order to keep up with what the Jets can offer.