Sports

Golden Knights top Jets 4-2, take 2-1 series lead

Golden Knights top Jets 4-2, take 2-1 series lead

Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals - including an empty-netter in the closing seconds - to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in Game 3 of the Western Conference final.

The Jets have been remarkable front-runners. "They gave us a chance to play, and gave us chances to do things we haven't in the past".

"It's a flawless example of momentum", Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "You probably get [fewer and fewer] chances as the playoffs go on". It would be rare that you lead the series straight through.

"We want to make sure we deal with our loss, don't carry it too heavily and then come up with our finest game of the post-season".

The Golden Knights would take Game 3, 4-2, to grab a 2-1 series lead.

The goal for Washington in Game 4 is to not commit early penalties that could result in Tampa Bay goals, as is what happened in Game 3. Connor Hellebuyck had 26 saves for the Jets, who arrived in Las Vegas having outscored their opposition 23-15 in road games during the playoffs.

In others they were outclassed. "We clearly need to not have it", allowed Maurice. "They are a good team and that is why they are here". "So, possibly", he said. "We can't sulk on this too long. It's an ebb and flow in the game". You can't have a shift off because they will make you pay. He might have just swung his stick at it, but good play by him.

"At first, you think it is from teams kind of taking them lightly".

But in Game 3, with goals so precious, it was Hellebuyck who gave up the biggest freebie of the night when he tried to sneak a puck between Erik Haula and the boards behind the Jets net, just seconds after Scheifele had evened the game.

The Omnia nightclub in Las Vegas where several Jets players saw Celine Dion make a surprise appearance during a benefit concert
Golden Knights top Jets 4-2, take 2-1 series lead

BC-HKN-Jets-Golden Knights, 1st Ld-Writethru, 953Marchessault scores twice, Golden Knights top Jets 4-2AP Photo NVCC104, NVCC115, NVCC131, NVCC132, NVCC130, NVCC129, NVCC115, NVCC124, NVCC127Eds: Golden Knights 4, Jets 2.

"That's an important challenge", Maurice said. "That was a big one".

With the conference final only three games in and another potential series remaining in Scheifele's season, he has a decent shot at the NHL's all-time record for goals in an entire playoffs. The bench was starting to feel right. "We had it, and they certainly seized it". Wheeler helped set up both of Mark Scheifele's tallies in the second and third periods. He came back to break a 1-1 tie with his second-period goal, and he added an assist a couple of minutes later.

It began with Kyle Connor panicking when he got the puck in his own zone, poking it right to the Vegas defender. Then Scheifele struck for a second time just 18 seconds after the puck dropped.

Paul Anka may be ready to knock 'em dead at the Wynn, Elton John and his million-dollar piano may be packing 'em in at Caesars Palace, Cher may be getting ready for a two-night blast at Monte Carolo and Santana is no doubt making his guitar sing at Mandalay Bay's House of Blues.

Vegas is 10-3 in its first stab at the playoffs and a step closer to reaching the Stanley Cup final, which seemed like folly when a patchwork team of castoffs was put together to surround Marc-André Fleury last summer.

The Knights led 1-0 and Winnipeg had just three shots on net after the opening period, to the delirium of the white-towel-waving full house at T-Mobile Arena.

"He's one of the best goalies in the league", Scheifele said.

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