Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie - USA TODAY Sports

Vegas downs the Jets to take 2-1 series lead

Jonathan Marchessault scores twice while Marc-Andre Fleury stands tall in net

May 16, 2018 - 3:55 pm
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The incredible ride for the Vegas Golden Knights continues through the Stanley Cup Playoff, and now they are just two wins away from becoming the second expansion franchise to play in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Golden Knights gained the 2-1 series advantage in their Western Conference Final matchup with the Winnipeg Jets after a 4-2 win on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It didn't take long for the Golden Knights to take the lead as Jonathan Marchessault used his speed to beat Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba to a loose puck in the offensive zone, then deked out goalie Connor Hellebuyck to put home his seventh goal of the postseason.

Vegas held that 1-0 lead into the second period until Jets forward Mark Scheifele scored his league-leading 13th goal of the playoffs to tie the game 5:28 in. However, the Golden Knights re-gained the lead just 12-seconds later after Hellebuyck misplayed a puck in behind his own net. Vegas forward Erik Haula collected Hellebuyck's mishap behind the net, and fed it in front to James Neal, who scored into a wide-open net.

Less than three minutes later, the Golden Knights took a two-goal advantage as Neal takes a rebound in behind the net, and then feeds a pass to Alex Tuch in front of the Jets net. Tuch one-timed his shot past the right shoulder of Hellebuyck for his fifth goal of the playoffs.

At the start of the third period, Scheifele got the Jets back to within one after scoring his 14th goal of the playoffs. Scheifele found himself wide-open going to the net as Kyle Connor went around the net and found him with a cross-ice pass.

Scheifele nearly completed the hat-trick to tie the hockey game with less than 10 minutes to play, but Marc-Andre Fleury stood tall as he comes across the crease to make a toe save on a one-time chance. Fleury then stuck with the play, diving back the other way to stop Scheifele's rebound opportunity to keep the score at 3-2.

Time eventually ran out on the Jets as Marchessault put the game on ice with three-seconds remaining, scoring his second goal of the game to make the score 4-2.

Fleury ended the evening stopping 33 of 35 shots faced, while Hellebuyck played well too, but suffered the loss with 26 saves on 29 shots faced.

Game 4 of this series will take place on Friday night from T-Mobile Arena. Faceoff is set for 8 p.m., and can be heard on WGR Sports Radio 550.

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