September 18, 2018

Jamie Nye: Winnipeg Jets now the favourite?

15 May 2018, 11:06 | Pamela Mathis

Jonathan Marchessault's 2 goals help Golden Knights even series

Feisty Marchessault wills Golden Knights to crucial win in Winnipeg

The winger backed up his strong words in impressive fashion Monday to help write the latest chapter in the first-year club's surprising story. "We're going to show what kind of team we are".

Winnipeg's only comeback victory was generated in Game 3 of the second round when the squad erased a 3-0 deficit after the first period to post an emotional 7-4 triumph at home over the Nashville Predators.

"We're not too anxious about what other people have to say", James Neal said. He tucked in his own rebound from the right side of the net. Reilly Smith had the only assist on Marchessault's fifth goal of the post-season.

And Winnipeg had the best record of them all. "I think we've used everyone, and every time someone goes down and someone else gets an opportunity, they make the most of it". The Capitals centre has eight goals and 19 points in 14 games, including an overtime victor, and he has not slowed down with Nicklaus Backstrom injured and the focus of the best checkers now squarely on him and the line he makes tick ...

"We were chasing the game again".

It was 71st career playoff victory Fleury in his 125th playoff start, moving him into a tie with Jacques Plante for ninth place on the all-time postseason wins list.

BACK TO THE POINT The main reason this series won't be over until it's over - Fleury is still better than Hellebuyck ... "Everybody is contributing to the success of the team". The finish from Jonathan Marchessault, who scored two goals in the game, was sublime, too.

Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said Perron wasn't feeling well. "We're going to try to bring the same effort". The Jets have not won anything since the WHA days and we all know that the Knights are brand spanking new.

CHANGING LINES Kyle Connor looked like he was aiming for Marc-Andre Fleury's logo when he broke his shutout at 7:17 of the third period.

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Kyle Connor scored the Jets' lone goal in the loss.

"It's not about proving anything", Tatar said.

The Jets opened the third period on a power play after Blake Wheeler was tripped with two seconds left in the second period.

The Jets got some momentum off a penalty kill following the intermission, but couldn't solve Fleury on any of their eight shots in a second that also saw Andrew Copp hit the post. Marchessault screamed past the Jets defense for a breakaway, and effortlessly deked the goalie before sliding the puck between his pads for the goal. "I think we played great and took control the rest of the game".

"If you're going to talk out there in the media that you have to be better, I think you need to lead by example, and I tried to do that tonight", Marchessault said.

The victor of game two won't necessarily win the series, but a victory could go a long way in the outcome.

It was a massive insurance goal for the Golden Knights, and it essentially slam the door shut right in Winnipeg's face. Tatar was pointless in the playoffs before Monday.

They acquired a tough fourth liner in Ryan Reaves, a minor league defenceman named Philip Holm and a former 29-goal scorer in Tomas Tatar.

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