NHL round-up: Vegas Golden Knights dream season continues with Stanley Cup debut victory

Last Updated April 12 2018, 08:01Other Sports
Vegas Golden Knights celebrate their first ever Stanley Cup playoffs goal
Vegas Golden Knights celebrate their first ever Stanley Cup playoffs goal

The Stanley Cup playoffs kicked off with historic wins for the Vegas Golden Knights and the Winnipeg Jets, while reigning champions the Pittsburgh Penguins made an ominous start.

Vegas continued their remarkable first season in the NHL by winning their maiden playoff game 1-0 against the Los Angeles Kings, while the Jets - who entered the league as the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999 - also broke their post-season duck by seeing off the Minnesota Wild 3-2.

Pittsburgh are used to this stage of the season, though, and started their bid for a third successive Stanley Cup with a 7-0 thrashing of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Excitement was high in Vegas, whose team had stunned the hockey world by topping the Pacific Division in their first season.


Stanley Cup winner (odds via Sky Bet)

  • Nashville Predators - 9/2
  • Boston Bruins - 11/2
  • Tampa Bay Lightning - 11/2
  • Vegas Golden Knights - 7/1
  • Winnipeg Jets - 7/1
  • Pittsburgh Penguins - 10/1
  • Washington Capitals - 10/1
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - 12/1
  • San Jose Sharks - 16/1

And they made a fine start to their maiden post-season when Shea Theodore scored after three minutes and 23 seconds of the opening period.

That proved enough to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, thanks to three-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's 30-save shutout.

The city of Winnipeg was also celebrating its first playoff victory as the Jets edged past Minnesota in their series opener.

The Wild overturned a 1-0 deficit early in the third period, but 19-year-old Patrik Laine scored in his first playoff appearance to tie the game before Joe Morrow sparked wild celebrations in Winnipeg with the winner.

In Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby scored a natural hat-trick as the Penguins routed the Flyers.

Bryan Rust, Carl Hagelin and Evgeni Malkin had the Penguins 3-0 up after the first period, before Jake Guentzel's powerplay effort moved them further ahead.

Two-time league MVP Crosby then took centre stage by scoring the remaining three goals.

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