The Las Vegas Golden Knights making the Stanley Cup Finals would be a major story for the NHL to follow, and they are now just one victory away from making that happen. Reilly Smith had the go-ahead goal in the third period on Friday night, giving his team a 3-1 series lead with a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on their home ice. William Karlsson and Thomas Nosek also scored for the team that was a 500-to-1 long-shot to win it all before the season, and their veteran goaltender has a lot to do with them overcoming those odds. Marc-Andre Fleury earned his 73rd career playoff win, ranking him ninth all-time in NHL history, as he made 36 saves on Friday night. Fleury, in his 14th season, was selected from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the expansion draft, as is looking for his third straight Stanley Cup Title after winning back-to back with the Penguins. He has a 1.72 goals against average and a .945 save percentage in this postseason, leading the Golden Knights to remarkable heights in their inaugural season. Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves for the Jets, who have now dropped three in a row after winning the opening game on their home ice. Patrik Laine and Tyler Myers both scored in the loss, as they are on the brink of elimination just like that heading back home. They will host Game 5 of the series on Sunday afternoon in front of the #Whiteout, as they look to keep their season alive and force the series back to Vegas for a sixth game.
deGrom K's 13 Batters in Mets' Win
Jacob deGrom had himself a career night on Friday for a New York Mets team that has cooled off majorly since a hot start to the season. deGrom set a career-high with 13 strikeouts to lift the Mets past the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks, 3-1, at Citi Field, Michael Conforto went 4-for-4 with two RBI on the night, as the Mets improved to just 9-11 on their home field. Wilmer Flores added an RBI for the Mets to go along with an RBI and two-run single from Conforto to support their starter. deGrom lasted seven innings and did not walk a batter, with the only blemish being an RBI double off the bat of Jake Lamb in the sixth inning. That double snapped deGrom's career-long scoreless streak of 24.1 innings, as he lowered his ERA to 1.75 on the season. The right-hander overcame a short start in his return from the disabled list last weekend, as he improved to 4-0 for the first time in his career. He returned last weekend in Philadelphia following an elbow injury, but needed 45 pitches to get out of the first inning against the Phillies and was taken out as a precaution. Robert Gsellman relieved deGrom on Friday with a perfect eighth inning, while Jeurys Familia struck out the side in the ninth for his 12th save in 15 tries. With the loss, the Diamondbacks fall into a tie for first in the NL West with the Colorado Rockies, as they look to bounce back with two more games against the Mets this weekend.
Orioles Earn Rare Road Win Over Red Sox
The Baltimore Orioles put an end to their struggles on the road against their division rivals, the Boston Red Sox, on Friday night with a 7-4 road win at Fenway Park. The win snaps a 13-game road losing streak for the Orioles, who sit in last place in the AL East with a 14-30 record, including a 4-17 record away from Oriole Park. Alex Cobb allowed three runs over 6.1 innings and earned his first win with Baltimore, The former Tampa Bay Rays hurler allowed 10 hits, but stranded plenty of Red Sox runners in his longest outing of the season. The win in his first since September 22nd of last season, which was against his current team, the Orioles. Jonathan Schoop went deep in the win on Friday, while Manny Machado, Adam Jones, and Mark Trumbo all drove in runs for the Orioles, Mookie Betts had another big night with two doubles and his 14th home run of the season, but the Red Sox fell to the Orioles for the first time in five meetings this season. Brad Brach earned his sixth save with a perfect ninth inning to close things down. Drew Pomeranz struggled for the Red Sox in his second loss, as he lasted just four innings and allowed four runs on seven hits, and struck out a season-low two. Baltimore pulled away with four runs in the fourth inning, as they look to put a string of wins together to get their season record a little more respectable. They have two more games with the Red Sox in Boston this weekend.