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Las Vegas Beats Winnipeg to Even Conference Final

17 May, 2018, 03:40 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Feisty Marchessault wills Golden Knights to crucial win in Winnipeg

Winnipeg, which jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 7:35 of a 4-2 victory in Game 1, peppered Fleury early but was unable to get one past the Vegas netminder.

"We were on them", Golden Knights forward Erik Haula said. "We showed the hockey world we earned the right to be here".

Monday night Marchessault backed his words up with a magnificent performance on the ice.

"The last game in the stands it felt way louder than tonight", Tatar said. Defensively, the Vegas Golden Knights are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 81.4 percent of their opponents power plays. "That's what I try to do every day, do whatever it takes to get better at this game, do better for my team".

Seems like Gerard Gallant made a great decision by inserting Tomas Tatar in the lineup.

A triple Stanley Cup victor with the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was always going to take more than chants of "Fleurrrry, Fleurrrry" no matter how loud to rattle the ice cool French-Canadian. Actually you could be talking about most of the Vegas players. Vegas now returns home where it's lost just 10 games since December 14 and is 9-2 in its last 11 home games when a favorite.

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.

Erik Haula almost put the Knights up 3-0 seconds later, but he hit the post on another break before the puck bounced off Hellebuyck's back and just went wide as Vegas outshot Winnipeg 8-0 in the second half of the period until Brandon Tanev's 70-foot wrister with five seconds left.

Marchessault answered with his second goal of the game just 88 seconds later, finishing a two-on-one with Smith with a backhand shot past Hellebuyck's stick side.

The momentum began to swing in the Knights' favour as the period wore on.

Golden Knights forward James Neal said that the performances of Tatar, and fellow returnee Tomas Nosek, epitomized what the team has been doing all season. "He's a small target but he's always there".

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A player like Marchessault will give the Jets trouble.

"Anything that we do whether it's soccer, basketball, when we're hanging around playing cards", Schmidt said, laughing.

But the best part of the highlight comes via the audio.

Fleury's sparkling play during the first two round of the post-season that featured series wins over the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks put him firmly in the Conn Smythe trophy discussion as the playoffs most valuable player.

"I don't think anybody in here minded our start".

Vegas Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault (81) talks to the media after game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Centre.

"It was definitely an important game for our group", he said. The best-of-seven series is now tied at one game apiece. That's what I wanted to do.

The win drastically changes the dynamic of the series. The Jets are 8-1 in these playoffs when they score first and are now 1-4 when they don't. We have to make sure we come out with the same intensity that we did tonight and maybe a little bit extra.

"There's going to be moments in this series where they get scoring chances".

The chip lodged firmly on Marchessault's shoulder appears to be going nowhere.

Jonathan Marchessault was left unprotected in the expansion draft by the Florida Panthers, who seemed to determine his breakout season was a fluke.



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