Michael Finewax

Hockey Daily Dose

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Vegas Grounds the Jets

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


The Vegas Golden Knights continue to amaze. Down 1-0 in the series, the Golden Knights did everything right and shut down the Winnipeg Jets in winning 3-1 and tied the best-of-seven series at one apiece with Games 3 and 4 back in Las Vegas starting Wednesday.

 

The Jets started the game off well and outplayed the Golden Knights in the first ten minutes of the game. They could have easily been up two or three goals but some tough luck and Marc-Andre Fleury combined to keep the score at zeroes.

 

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David Perron was unable to go and his place in the lineup was taken by Tomas Tatar who had been a healthy scratch the previous three games. The Golden Knights gave up a first, second and third round pick to the Detroit Red Wings at the trade deadline and Tatar made it seem worthwhile Monday as he potted the opening goal of the contest. The Golden Knights had all the momentum after the goal and it lasted most of the game, save for the one Jets goal.

 

The Golden Knights outskated the Jets on the night and they played Vegas hockey, something that was missing in Game 1. Jonathan Marchessault made it 2-0 before the end of the first period as Reilly Smith out-fought Kyle Connor for the puck at center and his pass to Marchessault sent the winger in on a breakaway from the blueline in. Marchessault made a nice move to beat Connor Hellebuyck and the Golden Knights were on their way.

 

It was a scoreless second period as the shots were tied at eight apiece after Vegas outshot Winnipeg 13-11 in the first.

 

The third period saw the Jets cut the lead in half as Connor’s weak shot from a bad angle somehow eluded Fleury and gave the Jets and their fans plenty of hope.

 

But that ended 1:28 later as Marchessault’s second of the game and sixth of the playoffs, once again took the crowd out of the game. Before his second and after Connor’s goal, the fans were calling out Fleury’s name a la Darryl Strawberry in the 1980’s (as seen in an episode of The Simpsons) but that ended quickly when Marchessault took a pass from Smith and beat Hellebuyck on a backhand while crossing the net.

 

Fleury stopped the Jets the rest of the way as he stopped 30 shots for his ninth win of the season and 71st of his NHL playoff career. He is tied with the great Jacques Plante for ninth overall and trails Chris Osgood by three for the eighth spot.

 

David Perron was scratched before game time as he was not feeling well.

 

Smith had two assists for Vegas and that gives him 13 in the playoffs. He has only one goal in 12 games but his 14 points trail only Marchessault who has 15.

 

Nikolaj Ehlers picked up his seventh assist of the playoffs but still has yet to score in the post-season.

  

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 25-of-28 shots in taking the loss.

 

The Golden Knights are 9-3 in the post-season and have won all three times after losing their previous game.

 

Marchessault had eight shots on goal to lead both teams.

 

Every Vegas blueliner was a plus-one.

 

The Jets were 1-3 on the power play while the Golden Knights were scoreless in two attempts.

 

It’s apparent that the Golden Knights can play many different ways. They were outhit 68-59 in the opening game of the playoffs against the Kings but had only seven versus the Jets 19 Monday.

 

The two squads will play again Wednesday back in Vegas where the Golden Knights will attempt to take a 2-1 series lead against the Jets.



Michael Finewax is entering his 13th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
Email :Michael Finewax



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