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

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.

“You give me two choices on where to be, our game or their win, I’d take the win,” Laviolette said. “It’s about winning hockey games right now.”

The Predators had the sparkling pregame show with the retractable screen dropping from the ceiling and country star Dierks Bentley singing the U.S. anthem, and a couple catfish hit the ice before the puck drop to boot. Then they pelted Hellebuyck with 15 of the first 19 shots.

Then the Jets scored the game’s first goal for a sixth straight playoff game. Tanev’s wrister beat Rinne’s outstretched right skate at 14:51 of the first.

Nashville finished the period with 20 shots, a franchise postseason record for a period, with Hellebuyck continuing his shutout streak started with consecutive shutouts to finish off Minnesota in the first round.

“He was awesome,” Jets forward Blake Wheeler said about Hellebuyck. “They were throwing everything at the net. What we were trying to do in front of him was just get bodies, get sticks, let him see things. You could tell early on if he was seeing the puck he was going to make the stops.”

“I hope you know and others know I’m not the type of person I was at 14 and 15 that I tweeted so recklessly. … I don’t want that to be the impression of who I am because that is not me. I apologize for what I did.”

Allen, who had been seen by many as a potential No. 1 overall pick, was selected seventh by the Buffalo Bills, who traded up to make the pick. Allen was the third quarterback drafted.

The tweets, sent in 2012 and 2013, no longer appear on his account. However, they contained racial slurs and other offensive language, according to Yahoo! Sports.

The former Wyoming quarterback acknowledged the tweets to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith late Wednesday night and apologized, saying he was young and dumb.

Allen told Smith that some of the tweets made reference to rap lyrics and television, including a saying that was part of an episode from the sitcom “Modern Family.”

On ESPN’s First Take on Thursday, NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that his sources indicated that Allen’s Twitter account was vetted in January and that the offensive tweets were removed then.

Allen told Mortensen he thought he had gone through his Twitter account a year ago.

“I had even typed in keywords to see if anything I had tweeted popped up that I needed to clean up, but nothing like these came up or I just missed them,” Allen said. “My agency went over any past social media, and these didn’t come up after I did the search.”

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