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Hellebuyck smothers Preds as Jets grab 1-0 lead with 4-1 win

AP
Published 10:45 p.m. ET April 27, 2018 | Updated 11:52 p.m. ET April 27, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Connor Hellebuyck loves what he’s seeing in his first NHL postseason, and the 24-year-old goalie is doing his best to make sure the Winnipeg Jets do much more than just stick around.

Hellebuyck made 47 saves and the Jets beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Friday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal between the NHL’s top teams in the regular season.

“I love the intensity, I love the game in front of me,” Hellebuyck said about the playoffs. “It’s awesome and a little different. Intense is the right way to put it.”

Not only did the teams top the standings, this series is the first between clubs with the most combined points ever before a conference finals after Nashville (117) edged Winnipeg (114) for the Presidents’ Trophy.

Both the Jets and Predators brought a Vezina finalist…

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