Michael Finewax

Hockey Daily Dose

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Vegas Golden once again

Thursday, May 17, 2018


Before I get started on Wednesday’s matchup between Winnipeg and Vegas, I want to give a shout out to my first cousin Paul Wernick who co-wrote Deadpool 2, which is in theaters Friday. He also co-wrote the original Deadpool as well as Zombieland and other movies. Go out and see it!

 

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VEGAS 4 WINNIPEG 2

 

The pre-game ceremonies were certainly Las Vegas-like (no kidding since they are in Sin City) and the crowd continued to go wild 35 seconds into the first when Jonathan Marchessault scored.  Mark Scheifele made the mistake of not getting the puck deep into the Vegas zone and when Brayden McNabb stripped him of the puck and shot it up the ice, Marchessault outskated the Winnipeg defense and deked Connor Hellebuyck to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead.

 

It was the only goal of the first period as the Golden Knights outshot the Jets 10-3. The Golden Knights continued their first period dominance at home in the post-season as they have still not allowed a goal while scoring nine times.

 

The second period seemed to be a different story, even though the Golden Knights outscored the Jets 2-1 to give Vegas a 3-1 lead heading into the third stanza.

 

Mark Scheifele had a Blake Wheeler shot from a difficult angle go off his stick and leg and past Marc-Andre Fleury to tie the game at 1. But just 18 seconds later, James Neal, who spent part of the first period in the quiet room in concussion protocol, after taking a forearm shot from Dustin Byfuglien to his head, made it 2-1 as Hellebuyck went to play the puck behind the net, lost it to Erik Haula who passed it in front to Neal who had the empty cage. Hellebuyck is not a good handler of the puck and it cost the Jets.

 

Vegas took advantage of a tired Winnipeg line for their third goal as Neal went around the outside, continued behind the net and found a wide open Alex Tuch who put the puck in the net.

 

While Vegas led 3-1, the momentum seemed to shift late in the second as the Jets came on and tempers flared. Dustin Byfuglien has been a stud on the Winnipeg blueline and he has been throwing around his 275-plus pound body, hurting a lot of Golden Knights along the way. He did so again late in the second and the Jets seemed to gain a lot of confidence at the end of the second and into the third.

 

The third period got underway and the Jets capitalized early in the third as Kyle Connor went around the net and found Scheifele wide open in front. Scheifele made no mistake and after 18 seconds it was a 3-2 game.

 

The Jets came in droves after that and had a decidedly marketed edge the rest of the period. The Jets had 32 shots over the last two periods but only Scheifele was able to beat him.

 

Scheifele scored a couple of goals to give him 14 in the playoffs with 11 coming on the road. He leads the NHL in goals with 14 and is a point in arrears of Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby for the playoff lead in points as he had six assists.

 

Marchessault scored his second of the night into the empty net with only three seconds to go to clinch the win and it gave the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference Final. Tempers flared once again after Marchessault’s goal.

 

 Fleury picked up the win as he turned aside 33 shots and was outstanding through most of the contest.

 

Hellebuyck stopped 25-of-28 in the contest in taking the loss.

 

Brayden McNabb had a pair of assists in the win while Wheeler had two helpers for the losing Jets.

 

After the Jets outhit the Golden Knights 19-7 in Game 2, they outhit Vegas 48-41 in a much tougher game. Look for more of the same in Game 4 Friday.



Michael Finewax is entering his 14th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
Email :Michael Finewax



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