Vegas Golden Knights defeated Winnipeg Jets 3-1 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday, May 14 at Bell MTS Place.
“Every time we need a big game as a group, we show up.” Jonathan Marchessault said in the press conference after the game.
Perhaps that statement perfectly sums up how the Golden Knights have responded to critics after a loss. The team has never lost back-to-back games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After being defeated in Game 1 on Saturday, the Golden Knights once again showed they are able to overcome adversity and bounce back. Their loss also marked the first time they lost a Game 1 in a series during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
They faced negative remarks and criticism due to a disappointing first period against the Jets, particularly the first 7:35 of Game 1 when Winnipeg got off to a strong start and scored three goals during that time-frame.
Marchessault was very vocal after the Jets victory, calling Monday’s game a “must-win” for Vegas.
Not only did Golden Knights turn things around Monday, but Marchessault led the way with two goals.
He now has 15 points which ties Bill Goldsworthy’s record, set in 1968, for the most postseason points by an expansion team’s player.
He also climbs NHL history ranks as having the 8th most points in a franchise’s first postseason.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 15, 2018
Tomas Tatar made his return for Vegas after being out since May 2 which was during Round 2 of the playoffs against the Sharks.
Tatar scored the first goal of the night for his team with 6:37 to go in the first period. He was assisted by Shea Theodore and Ryan Carpenter.
Jonathan Marchessault then scored his first of the game with an assist by Reilly Smith and William Karlsson with 2:38 remaining.
(WPG Leads Series 1-0) pic.twitter.com/Ba9VPhjI64
— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) May 15, 2018
After a scoreless second period, Kyle Connor scored the lone goal for the Jets 7:17 into the third period. He was assisted by Nikolaj Ehlers and Tyler Myers.
However, with 11:15 remaining in the game, Marchessault quickly shifted the momentum back to Vegas as he scored his second goal of the night to extend the lead for the Golden Knights. He was assisted by Reilly Smith.
— Sporting News Canada (@sportingnewsca) May 15, 2018
Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves. It marked his 71st career win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. According to NHL Stats, he is now tied with Jacques Plante for ninth place on the NHL’s all-time list.
“We’re just a bunch of hockey players that wanted to find a home, and we did.” Marchessault said.
The Vegas Golden Knights return home to T-Mobile Arena for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday, May 16 and Friday, May 18. Game 3 begins at 6:00 p.m. PT and Game 4 begins at 5:00 p.m. PT.
Post-game press conference with Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault and Marc-Andre Fleury below.
Post-game press conference with Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant below.
Post-game media scrum with Golden Knights Reilly Smith, Tomas Tatar below.
Article, photos, & videos by: Helen Yee | @HelenYeeSports