Vegas Golden Knights' Jonathan Marchessault (81) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period of Game 6 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, Sunday, May 6, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. Their 32.8 shots-per-game tied them for 10th in the league. Defensively, the Vegas Golden Knights are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 81.4 percent of their opponents power plays. There were rumors of a big splash involving Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, but when that never materialized they ended up sending three draft picks to the Detroit Red Wings for forward Tomas Tatar.
Conversely, the Jets are 1-4 when surrendering the opening goal in the playoffs, 1-4 when down after the first period and 0-5 when behind after 40 minutes.
"I'm not much of a believer in momentum during the playoffs", said Paul Maurice, the Winnipeg coach.
We're used to the whiteout crowd in Winnipeg being loud, rowdy, and nonstop, but for a 30-minute stretch, they looked perplexed as they sat on their hands almost silent.
The Jets got some momentum off a penalty kill early 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.
He only ended up playing 10 minutes again on Monday, but he made the majority by scoring a goal, attempted four shots (putting two on net), while the Golden Knights attempted 74 percent of the total shot attempts (11 for, only four against) with him on the ice during 5-on-5 play, the best mark of any Vegas player.
Winnipeg broke Fleury's shutout bid at 7:17 of the final period on the Jets' second power play of the period when Connor's shot from the bottom of the left faceoff circle somehow leaked through Fleury for his third.
"I'm definitely satisfied with our effort tonight", Marchessault said.
"They're opportunistic in the same sense we kind of can be", Trouba said. "We showed the hockey world that we own the right to be here". Connor Hellebuyck had 25 saves for the Jets. Then, aside from one great chance that hit the post, every time Winnipeg had the puck they couldn't create anything truly risky. We are here all for one goal and we want to win the Cup and we are doing everything for it.
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Middlesbrough hadn't even produced a shot on target until a controversial moment three minutes from time. The playoff final will be held at Wembley Stadium on May 26.
Marchessault had two goals in his team's 3-1 victory.
This series is sizing up to be a long one, as these two teams appear to be just too good to lose. If that trend holds, he'll be a great play in Game 3 in Vegas on Wednesday.
The Jets actually came out strong, skating well and creating a few quality scoring chances, only to be denied by Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury - and the iron behind him.
The Golden Knights first goal came 13:23 into the 1st.
Monday night's 3-1 road win looked like a carbon copy of Nashville's last two. Mark Scheifele leads Winnipeg with 12 goals, Blake Wheeler has 15 assists and Patrik Laine has 46 shots on goal. Marchessault made no mistake, sliding a backhand between the legs of Hellebuyck to double the Vegas lead.
The Jets undoubtedly stepped up for the second period, but Vegas thwarted their attacks.
With 12:43 left in regulation time Connor brought the building back to life. It was assisted by Ehlers and Tyler Myers and the Jets were within a single goal.
The Jets pulled their goaltender to add another skater over the last couple minutes of the game, but Fleury didn't let the puck get past him again. Smith sent the puck in front for a wide open Marchessault and he deposited the backhand for his second goal of the game. A Jets win to take a 2-0 series lead would have given them about a 90 percent chance to win, but Vegas has now tied things up, with the majority of the games remaining at the friendly confines of T-Mobile Arena. It was an endless display of taking away unsafe ice and the result was taking the Jets and their fans out of the game.