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Picks, predictions for Golden Knights vs. Jets in first round of 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

We give our predictions for Golden Knights-Jets in the Round 1 of the 2023 NHL playoffs.

Nikolaj Ehlers #27, Mark Scheifele #55, Kyle Connor #81, Josh Morrissey #44 and Pierre-Luc Dubois #80 of the Winnipeg Jets celebrate a third period goal against the San Jose Sharks at the Canada Life Centre on April 10, 2023 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The Vegas Golden Knights face the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs with Game 1 on Tuesday night. The Golden Knights secured the top seed in the Western Conference, winning the Pacific Division. The Jets sneaked in as the second wild card team from the West. Here we’ll go over some predictions for the series.

2023 NHL Playoffs: Golden Knights vs. Jets prediction

This should be an even series despite it being the top seed vs. the bottom seed in the conference. Winnipeg has a veteran roster that has plenty of talent and a deep forward group. Plus, that guys named Connor Hellebuyck. The Knights may get Mark Stone back in the lineup, which would be huge. Considering Helly and the Golden Knights’ defensive style of play, there shouldn’t be a ton of scoring. Key word being shouldn’t.

Hellebuyck’s numbers vs. the Knights this season are underwhelming. That shouldn’t change our minds that much, though. This series should come down to who, if any, can capitalize on special teams. There won’t be as many power plays and penalties to go around. The Jets have a top-10 penalty kill and Hellebuyck to back that up. The Golden Knights are OK on the PK but struggle on the power play.

We haven’t even talked about the goaltending for Vegas. Jonathan Quick has been in this situation before. He’s also not that goalie anymore. Laurent Brossoit played well at the end of the season as the technical fourth string at this point? Is he standing on his head in the playoffs? Probably not. Even with all this, it still feels like the Jets’ blue line will hold them back. I think Vegas has a pretty easy time in this series.

Prediction: Golden Knights in 5