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They are by no means historic rivals, but the Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights have already made lots of history.

But before she addressed the Winnipeg Jets, who eliminated Nashville 5-1 Thursday night as the battle to etch names upon the Stanley Cup rages on, she was asked for thoughts about the Vegas side. Stastny and Scheifele would each light the lamp in the final frame to secure the win and a berth in the Western Conference final for the first time in franchise history.

And it was the veteran leaders who carried them every step of the way. Since their inception in 1974, the Capitals have faced the Penguins in the playoffs twelve times, losing all but two of those series.

The Jets were led in scoring by Paul Stastny, who notched two goals and one assist for three points.

Assistant captain Dustin Byfuglien had four goals and four assists and churned up tough minutes on the blue-line.

Jets coach Paul Maurice now is 3-0 all-time in Game 7s all on the road.

It's a relevant question as the Jets get set to open the Western Conference final against the Vegas Golden Knights.

"You'll get some good-natured heckling, but at the end of the day, we love our hockey, but we're known as "friendly Manitoba" and you'll see it come through if you come pop up for a visit".

Vegas may be forechecking well, using its speed to gain an edge and outworking opponents, but its skaters aren't producing quite as much as they did for most of the last eight months.

"Play with some confidence and some courage".

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That ragtag label bestowed upon them early on made for a neat story as they jumped out to a hot start, and forced us to scramble in pursuit of justifications for how and why they were managing to exceed expectations, without levelling off.

"And it was like that right through the whole bench". To top it off, he tallied an assist on the opening goal. Jets net minder Connor Hellebuyck enters this series on a.927 save clip and 2.25 GAA with two shutouts. And they are scoring only 2.90 goals per game, also the worst rate of any team that advance beyond the initial round, down from 3.27 during the regular season. "They said that I'm a traitor", she says. Of course, they didn't need to be. He never got too high, never got too low.

The '78 Jets not only steamrolled through their season, winning the AVCO Cup in four straight games over Gordie Howe and the New England Whalers, they also became the first North American team to defeat the mighty Soviet national team, without a doubt the strongest team in the world at the time, when they won 5-3 on January 5, 1978, at Winnipeg Arena.

"With the hockey win, we wanted to provide other options for hockey enthusiasts looking to catch a game and also enjoy Vegas for all that it offers", said spokesperson Lauren Stewart. "But they are a fun team and they were awesome during the regular season and yeah, it would be easy jumping on board with them".

And why wouldn't they believe anything is possible?

Karlsson scored 43 goals during a breakout regular season and he's tied with Marchessault for the team lead in playoff points with 11. Hell, they aren't supposed to be in the playoffs - period. For the first time in his career, Alex Ovechkin will play in the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Few have gone to greater lengths to become elite players than Scheifele.

Anders Hedberg, a forward on the 1978 team, says the passion and the excitement in Winnipeg now is much like 1978, but there is more media exposure.

Wheeler is nominated for the Mark Messier leadership award this season.

According to oddsmakers, the Jets are a -145 favorite to win on the moneyline.


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