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Golden Knights advance to Western Final, will play Jets or Predators

Defeat Sharks in six games, reach third series in inaugural season

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

The Vegas Golden Knights advanced to the Western Conference Final and will play the Winnipeg Jets or Nashville Predators.

Vegas defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-0 in Game 6 on Sunday to end that second-round series. The Golden Knights became the third team to win multiple NHL playoff series in their inaugural season, joining the Toronto Arenas (1918) and St. Louis Blues (1968).

The Jets lead the Predators 3-2 in that best-of-7 series with Game 6 at Winnipeg on Monday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS).


[RELATED: Complete Golden Knights vs. Sharks series coverage]


"It's a great accomplishment but we're still only halfway," Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. "We got to wait to see who comes on top against Winnipeg and Nashville and get ready for that game."

Vegas will have home-ice advantage against either Winnipeg or Nashville.

Vegas went 2-1-0 against Winnipeg during the regular season. Reilly Smith (one goal, three assists) and David Perron (two goals, two assists) each had four points, and William Karlsson scored three goals. Fleury won once, making 26 saves in a 3-2 overtime win Feb. 1. Maxime Lagace, the Golden Knights fourth-string goaltender who played when Fleury and backups Malcolm Subban and Oscar Dansk were injured, was 1-1-0 with a 4.01 goals-against average and .879 save percentage.

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Vegas advances to Conference Final

Kyle Connor (three goals, one assist), Patrik Laine (two goals, two assists) and Mark Scheifele (one goal, three assists) each had four points for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck was 1-1-1 with a 4.40 GAA and .857 save percentage. Steve Mason made five saves in relief in a 5-2 loss Nov. 10.

The Golden Knights were 2-1-0 against the Predators during the regular season. Nate Schmidt and Alex Tuch led Vegas with three assists each; six players scored one goal. Marc-Andre Fleury was 1-1-0 with a 0.51 GAA and .982 save percentage, including making 29 saves in a 3-0 shutout on Jan. 2. Subban made 41 saves in a 4-3 shootout win Dec. 8.

Nick Bonino, Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson and Kevin Fiala each scored for Nashville. Pekka Rinne was 0-1-1 with a 2.44 GAA and .928 save percentage, and Juuse Saros made 43 saves in a 1-0 shutout Jan. 16.

"I don't care which one it is, they are both great teams, outstanding teams," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. "We played them three times each this season, we've done well agaisnt them but again, that means nothing. It's playoff hockey and I hope they play a bunch of periods in overtime [Monday] night and that they go seven games and the same thing happens again. They are both great teams."

Vegas became the first NHL team to sweep a playoff series (the fourth to win one) in its inaugural season, defeating the Los Angeles Kings in the first round. The Minnesota North Stars also won a playoff series in their inaugural season (1968).



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