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Hellebuyck shrugs off Game 1 goal fest: 'Who cares about stats' in playoffs?

David Lipnowski / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Winnipeg Jets' series-opening 7-6 victory against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday wasn't a masterclass in goaltending, but Connor Hellebuyck isn't worried about his performance one bit.

"This time of year, who cares about stats, really?" he said Monday. "Stats are just gonna be something people look at, pick apart, and talk about.

"At the end of the day, it's 'Did you win, or did you not win?' ... 16 wins (gets you) the Stanley Cup and that's my goal, so who really cares about everything else that goes with it?"

The likely Vezina Trophy winner surrendered six goals - including three at five-on-five - on 46 shots.

The Avalanche's underlying numbers during the contest were dominant. Colorado dictated 65.2% of the shot attempts and 68.2% of the expected goals while holding a 17-9 edge in high-danger chances at all strengths, per Natural Stat Trick.

"I felt like I had a really good game," Hellebuyck said. "When the results end up like that, I instantly know - I've been in this league long enough - it's gonna be, I gotta stop one more than the other guy."

Jets coach Rick Bowness didn't blame Hellebuyck for any of the goals against.

"Some of them had seeing eyes, some of them were bouncing all over the place, some of them were just dead giveaways on our part," the bench boss said Sunday, per's Darrin Bauming.

He added, "It could have been worse. Seriously. ... And Connor had to play better and he made a lot of big saves at the right time, which he always does."

At the other end of the ice, Alexandar Georgiev fared much worse.

The Avalanche netminder conceded seven goals on just 23 shots for an abysmal .696 save percentage. He allowed 5.04 goals above expected in all situations.

Unlike Bowness, Colorado head coach Jared Bednar wasn't so quick to defend his goaltender's performance.

"(Georgiev's game) probably needed to be better, right?" he said. "I thought we played well, we created some chances. He made some good saves, but we're (going to) need like a couple more saves than that probably to win, you know?

"But it is what it is. We'll regroup. We made some mistakes in front of him that we'll have to clean up and try to get the job done. It's a team game."

Georgiev led all goalies with 38 wins in the regular season but owned an .897 save percentage, and his minus-12.45 goals saved above average was the seventh-worst mark in the league, per Evolving-Hockey.

The 28-year-old is focused on keeping his spirits high following Sunday's stinker.

"They scored some really good goals, a couple lucky ones," Georgiev said, according to the Denver Post's Corey Masisak. "You have to stay positive and try to find out what happened today and move forward. It's only 1-0 in the series, so I'm looking forward to the next game."

Game 2 is set for Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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