Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Marc-Andre Fleury: Grounds Jets in Game 2

Marc-Andre Fleury: Grounds Jets in Game 2

The Golden Knights used the same recipe that the Predators used to win in Bell MTS Place: Score early, build a 2-0 lead through two periods and hold off the high-scoring Jets offense the rest of the way.

The Winnipeg Jets had some chances early on to replicate their start to Game 1, but they could not find the back of the net.

Winnipeg got major contributions from its top players as Blake Wheeler (three assists), Mark Scheifele (goal, assist) and Dustin Byfuglien (goal, assist) continued their stellar play in the postseason.

Erik Haula almost put the Knights up 3-0 seconds later, but he hit the post on another break before the puck bounced off Hellebuyck's back and went just wide as Vegas outshot Winnipeg 8-0 in the second half of the period until Brandon Tanev's 70-foot wrister with five seconds left.

"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", Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault said.

The Jets received a lone goal from Kyle Connor, a power-play marker in the third period to break up Marc-Andre Fleury's shutout bid.

The Golden Knights got an offensive spark from Tomas Tatar, the prized trade-deadline acquisition who had trouble adapting to his new club and was a healthy scratch in seven of the previous 11 playoff games.

Marchessault made it 2-0 at 17:22 after a Winnipeg turnover during a line change, beating Hellebuyck with a backhand shot through his pads. Coach Gerard Gallant wouldn't confirm if Tatar or Nosek would play but said there is a chance.

Unlike other National Hockey League teams, which fire general managers and coaches if they don't quickly have success, the Jets have allowed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to build a championship contender since hiring him in 2011 when they left Atlanta.

The year was 1994 and CFLs American expansion was well underway, and the Vegas Posse were coming off a very rough 5-13 season (not quite like the Vegas Golden Knights we know today).

"It's a series", Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba said.

"It's just beating you up when you have to [sit] and some stuff doesn't go our way", Tatar said after Monday's win.

Jets center Bryan Little says focusing on jumping out to an early lead will go a long way in Monday's matchup and hopefully give his team a bigger series lead. "It's just a matter of how you react to it". "When teams are chasing the lead, it's tough for teams to battle back". "And so on and so forth", Wheeler said.

"We definitely showed up", said the 27-year-old, who was plucked from the Florida Panthers in the expansion draft last June. "When you start letting it snowball, that's when it gets more challenging".

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