Jonathan Marchessault scored twice – once to open scoring and then into an empty net to close scoring – but it was Marc-Andre Fluery who gave the Jets all kinds of fits in the third period and helped the Vegas Golden Knights lock down a win in game three to take a 2-1 series lead.
- Let’s get the obvious out of the way to start.. What an effort from Marc-Andre Fleury especially in that third period. Jets did everything right in that third period and they were stonewalled by MAF who was absolutely brilliant.
- Now to go back to the beginning.. That was a less than ideal start. The Jets make a mistake and Vegas takes advantage… Go fig. Jonathan Marchessault gets a breakaway chance and dekes Connor Hellebuyck out of his boots… Go fig.
- Turnovers were a big part of the story early on as Vegas used their speed to force a bunch of them on the Jets but the Jets again were not helping themselves with bad passing and poor skating. All the Jets goals against tonight (save for the fourth which was obviously an empty net goal) were self inflicted wounds. The Jets tie things up in the second period (thank you Mark Scheifele) but then 12 seconds later they get caught not skating again, Ben Chiarot and Connor Hellebuyck play a game of “I got it, no you take it, nobody has it” and James Neal re-takes the lead.
- At that point, that second Vegas goal summed up how frustrating the last five periods of hockey had been for the Jets. It wasn’t like they were being grossly out-played or anything, but it was starting to end up a series that felt like it was death by a thousand cuts.
- Laine hitting the post was also one of those “if they didn’t have bad luck..” moments.
- The third Vegas goal just added to the frustration. Bad turnover that should have been a dump-in at center ice, Byfuglien and Enstrom get caught being out there too long and were gassed by the end of it.
- Thankfully that third period happened. THAT was more of what we expect the Jets to do on a regular basis.
- Mark Scheifele is a gift that we should all appreciate. He sets the NHL record for most ever postseason road goals with 11 after a two goal effort. he could have had three if not for two amazing saves by Fluery that in the end represented the best chances the Jets had to tie things up in that final frame.
You can't convince me Marc-Andre Fleury isn't a genetically enhanced superhuman. pic.twitter.com/yCs9glVfm7
— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) May 17, 2018
- Sometimes you just have to tip your hat. You can also curse and spit a a lot while doing it, but at least tip your hat.
- Speaking of great moments in the game… Buff.
— #BelieveInTheJets Nation (@NHLJetsNation) May 17, 2018
- The mission going forward for the Jets is pretty simple: Do what you did in the third period. Keep playing like that. Skate like hell, keep throwing everything on net. Limit if not eliminate big mistakes. This series isn’t over by a long shot.
CHARTS N STUFF
Stats & charts courtesy: Corsica.Hockey
Heat Map Chart courtesy: NaturalStatTrick.com
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
For Winnipeg: Mark Scheifele – Two goals on the night, by rights coulda shoulda woulda had three. He did his best to try and will his team into a tied game.
For Vegas: Marc-Andre Fleury – 32 saves and at least three or four of them were of the “are you kidding, how?” variety.
Game four is a Friday night affair in Vegas! The Jets will look to rebound and even the series back up again. Puck drop is an early start in Vegas but a regular start in Winnipeg: 7:00 PM CST.