Thursday, 24 May, 2018


Marchessault lifts Golden Knight over Jets in playoffs

How Vegas led by Jonathan Marchessault stepped up its play in Game 2 How Vegas led by Jonathan Marchessault stepped up its play in Game 2
Noah Ferguson | 16 May, 2018, 14:16

They lost 5-2 in Vegas in November, won 7-4 at home the next month and lost 3-2 in overtime in Winnipeg in February.

The Knights outshot the Jets 8-0 during a stretch that led to two goals four minutes apart and almost a third five seconds later. Marchessault scored twice in the outing and both goals were tremendously important. "They're going to come out flying and we've got to be ready to go".

Winnipeg was figured out, but with some emergence from players such as Patrik Laine, the Jets can take the third game on the road.

"They played hard and they had chances but just weren't getting the bounces".

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

He stopped just 31 of 37 shots in Game 2 and while the Lightning showed they can fill the net in prior series victories of the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins, they are not going to be able to stop Alex Ovechkin and his teammates if the goaltending does not improve. "You're playing the same system and the same style and sometimes it just works out more on the road", said Hellebuyck. Marchessault played with an edge, as well.

Any chance of shutting down pace and momentum of the Jets will likely win the game for the Knights in Game 3. Vegas, behind two goals by William Karlsson, defeated the Jets 5-2 on November 10 in the only regular-season meeting between the two teams at T-Mobile Arena. All three of those guys play well together and "Marchy" finishes it off when he needs to.

Marchessault's contributions were especially helpful, too, when considering the way in which it allowed Vegas to settle into the game.

Mission accomplished - not only did Vegas knock off the Jets by a 3-1 score, Marchessault netted the Golden Knights' game-winning goal in the first period before adding a highlight reel dagger midway through the third period.

"They know my thoughts", Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "He rebounded after that, we got that 2-0 lead and it was a different game for us".

The Lightning were the first team to punch their tickets to the conference final, but back-to-back disasters with home-ice advantage against the Caps has them returning to Washington in a unsafe hole.

The Jets-Knights matchup is a fairy tale matchup, with Vegas formed only a year ago, its roster assembled from castoffs by other clubs in an expansion draft plus off-season moves by general manager George McPhee.

Ovechkin and Brett Connolly each scored in the third, putting the game away and giving the Capitals a 6-2 win in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead back to Washington. In the second round, Winnipeg was often forced to dump and chase against a Nashville Predators team that was content to congest the middle of the ice and, when necessary, limit all opportunities to the outside of the ice. "If you give them a little light or a little day, they're going to take advantage of it". So, for us, we're trying to clog it up as much as we can. "I think we showed that". "We've got ourselves a series". And that's exactly how the Golden Knights need to play, exactly what they need to do, in order to continue to find success against the Jets. "I think we showed the hockey world that we [earned] the right to be here and we're able to play against a great team".

"They've got really good sticks, so when they're coming on the backcheck they knock a lot of pucks down. Just a huge game, so we'll have to bring our best", said Jets forward Mathieu Perreault.

Game 1 was the most-watched game of the conference final round, averaging a total audience of 2.374 million viewers on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

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