The Winnipeg Jets lost two games in a row for the first time in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was an up and down affair during game three as the Jets stumbled out of the gate.
The home crowd got into the game early as Marchessault scored the opening goal just 35 seconds into the game. The Jets tied the game in the second period but the elation was short lived as Neal scored 12 seconds later.
Going into the third, the Jets were down by two but gave themselves a chance with an early goal. There was constant pressure from the Jets for the rest of the period but Fleury made some incredible saves to preserve the one goal lead. Vegas added an empty net goal with three seconds left to ensure the victory. There was plenty of bad moments in game three, but there were also some good plays as well. Here is the thumbs up, thumbs down for game three.
Thumbs up to Fleury. It can’t be overstated how good Fleury played in game three. Specifically in the third period Fleury made some outrageous saves to lead the Golden Knights to victory. His best of the night was a diving save on Scheifele that will be on highlight reels for weeks. Just for good measure, Fleury also gave Wheeler a nice ear rub during a scrum near the net. It was a great night for Fleury who is emerging as a major Conn Smythe contender.
Thumbs down to the start. The Jets did a great job in Nashville by coming out and silencing the crowd early. They did the exact opposite in this one as they gave the building a reason to cheer in the first minute of the game. Allowing the crowd to get into the game so early makes it tough to get into a rhythm because there is more pressure and no time to relax. It also allowed Vegas to get their legs moving and dictate the pace of the game.
Thumbs up to Mark Scheifele. Scheifele was fantastic in game three by scoring the only goals for Winnipeg. He was constantly generating chances and is working his way towards playoff history in regards to goals. The question since the first round was if he could keep it up, but he has shown no signs of slowing through two and a half rounds so far. He truly is a superstar in the league.
Thumbs down to Hellebuyck. Hellebuyck played fairly well for most of the game except for his atrocious turnover behind the net. Although the goal was definitely Hellebuyck’s fault, it was a nifty knockdown out of the air by Haula to steal the puck. It was a bad read by Hellebuyck as he should have reversed the puck up the boards, but usually a goalie can get it by the first player by lifting it off the ice. In this case, the puck didn’t get by Haula and Neal was given a gift in front of the net.
Thumbs up to Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien had a few chances at the end of the third period to tie the game, but his antics during a scrum is what gives him a thumbs up. While everyone was piling up near the faceoff circle, Byfuglien comes walking in and grabs two Golden Knights, one in each hand, and literally throws them off the pile. There may not be a man on earth who is stronger than Byfuglien. It happened against Nashville when he was swinging around two Predators by the ears, and it happened again during game three. His strength knows no bounds.
Thumbs down to Ben Chiarot. Chiarot plays hockey like I play NHL 18, always pinch at the blue line and go for the hit. He did it a few times near the end of the game, which is understandable when down by a goal. The problem is that Chiarot does it far more frequently than he needs to and it is reminiscent of good ole Mark Stuart. I understand that Chiarot is a third pairing defenseman, but that means he should take less chances and play a simpler game instead of pinching so frequently.