Shockingly, it is the Vegas Golden Knights, the first-year expansion team that won the Pacific Division title.
After a 1-0 shutout of the Los Angeles Kings - the owner of two Stanley Cup victories in the shootout era - the Golden Knights became the first team of the 2018 playoffs to advance to the second round.
Marc-Andre Fleury had his share of playoff struggles in Pittsburgh, but now with the Golden Knights, the veteran goalie stole the show in a series sweep of Los Angeles that saw each game decided by a razor-thin margin.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury ended the regular season with a 2.24 goals-against average and.927 save percentage, each the best in his 14 National Hockey League seasons.
Unlike Vegas, the Panthers and Penguins did so in their third seasons.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights and their fans appear to be unified. What it comes down to is that Los Angeles must find some goal scorers as it has only produced three total goals in three games this series.
Golden Knights vs. Kings Live Stream
The over is 3-0-1 in the last four Golden Knights road games.
Coach Gerard Gallant has emphasized the depth of his roster all season, and it showed in this series.
The Colorado Avalanche made the playoffs on the final day of the regular season, as they beat the St. Louis Blues to earn the second wild-card spot and a chance to meet the Presidents' Trophy-winning Nashville Predators. The most-watched game on NBCSN so far was played on Sunday night between Columbus and Washington, averaging a TAD of 792,000 viewers.
The Vegas Golden Knights inaugural season has been nothing short of awesome. The Columbus Blue Jackets are the first wild-card team in the east and they now lead their series 2-1 against the Washington Capitals. They outshot the Knights, 31-21, in the game. Defenseman P.K. Subban (NSH), Forward Patrik Laine (WPG), Forward Blake Wheeler (WPG), Anze Kopitar (LAK), and Forward Filip Forsberg (NSH).
The Knights were quite impressive in their first-round series, disposing of the Kings by winning four straight one-goal games. Doughty missed Game 2 thanks to one-game suspension.
"I just think you need a push from the middle sometimes to get over the hump against good teams like Vegas that are really deep".
Also of note, regionalized coverage of Colorado-Nashville and New Jersey-Tampa Bay on NBC/CNBC on Saturday afternoon averaged a TAD of 1.702 million viewers, up 51 percent vs. coverage of Boston-Ottawa on NBC a year ago (1.130 million viewers).
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The 29-year-old Mkhitaryan suffered knee ligament damage in the quarter-final first leg defeat of CSKA Moscow . The closer you are to the position of the player, the more supportive you are", he said.