Tatar sparks Golden Knights to Game 2 victory against Jets

The Vegas Golden Knights' celebrate after Jonathan Marchessault scored on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck not shown during first period game 2 NHL Western Conference Finals hockey action in Winnipeg Manitoba Monday

Tatar sparks Golden Knights to Game 2 victory against Jets

"I know that if there's a big game I'm going to see all their faces".

"Down two goals just made it tough", said Jets captain Blake Wheeler. 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. In the postseason, the club is attempting an average of 33.2 shots on goal ( 3.6 goals per game).

Reilly Smith had a pair of assists for Vegas.

The Jets lone goal came off the stick of Connor, who snuck a wrister past Fleury for a power-play goal at 7:17 of the third period.

"I'm definitely satisfied with our effort tonight", Marchessault said.

"We knew it was going to be pretty emotional and high-strung", said Defenceman Jacob Trouba post-game. However, Winnipeg has scored 48 goals so far, one ahead of the Washington Capitals. The team has been forced to kill penalties 10.0 minutes per contest over their last five road games.

"They came out flying again with a lot of speed", Fleury said.

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It was a massive insurance goal for the Golden Knights, and it essentially slam the door shut right in Winnipeg's face. Of its 95 games this season, 46 have gone over the total, while an additional 46 have gone under and just three have pushed.

"I thought (Vegas) played a good game and they're a great team over there and we can't expect that every night's going to be like this", Hellebuyck said.

An early shot from Jets snake-bitten forward Nikolaj Ehlers clanged off the iron and then Andrew Copp rattled a rebound off the post during the second period when the game was 2-0.

The sold-out Bell MTS Center exploded in celebration and the Jets appeared to have swung the momentum in their favor. With around six minutes left in the first period, Paul Stastny was stripped of the puck in his own end. There's certainly value in the Jets and the plus money, but I've been backing the Golden Knights all season and it's paid off. Shea Theodore and Ryan Carpenter had the assists and the Golden Knights had a one goal lead.

The Jets undoubtedly stepped up for the second period, but Vegas thwarted their attacks. Their Jets had the puck, they were in the Golden Knights zone, they just couldn't get anything near the goal. Tuch proved his worth with 15 goals and 22 assists, and it has been hard for Wild fans to watch both elevate their play in the playoffs: Haula has three goals and three assists, Tuch four goals and three assists, and each has a game-winning goal. The shots were 13-11 for Vegas in the first frame. Neither team found the scoreboard in the second. A wrist shot by Kyle Connor from a challenging angle squirted through Fleury, and it was suddenly 2-1 with 12:43 left. From a sharp angle Connor beat Fleury on the powerplay for his third goal of the playoffs. During the regular season, he tallied eight goals and 37 assists over 69 contests.

He then added another at home on Saturday in a 4-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights to open the Western Conference final.

Less than two minutes later as Jets" fans started the "Fleury' chants, Marchessault backhanded one past Conor Hellebuyck to restore the Golden Knights' two-goal lead. The opening face-off is set for 8:00 pm CT.

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