Tomas Tatar scores as Vegas Golden Knights pull even in conference finals

Ruben Hill
May 16, 2018

It just wasn't their Knight.

The expansion Golden Knights appeared to be rusty in the series opener and the Jets scored three goals early in a 4-2 win about 48 hours after advancing out of the second round.

It was no grand proclamation and he certainly stopped short of a guarantee, but Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault made clear ahead of Game 2 of the Western Conference final that Vegas not only could, but would, be better.

The series is now even, 1-1, and heads to Vegas for Game 3 on Wednesday night.

Unable to find much to cheer about from the play of their team, fans had to be prompted by the Jumbotron to "Make some noise".

Tomas Tatar scored 6 minutes, 37 seconds into the game for the Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 30 saves.

"Ultimately it's how the fans embrace it", Ryder said.

Dustin Byfuglien scored just 1:05 into the game. "That's what it was all night".

The two-goal game alone surely would have been enough for Marchessault to earn his praise, too, but his performance went above and beyond finding twine twice. You gotta be on your toes the entire time because they can make you pay at any moment.

They will play their first home game in the Western Conference Final when they host the Winnipeg Jets in Game 3 at T-Mobile Arena (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS). The Jets have been a good offensive team all year, but the Golden Knights have allowed just 2.39 gpg at home all year and just 1.83 gpg in the postseason so far.

Then their engines sputtered while Vegas cranked it up. Connor took advantage, squeezing a shot between Fleury and the post from the bottom of the left circle 7 minutes, 17 seconds into the third.

Both teams had eight shots on goal, including this quick release of a Patrik Laine shot which a refocused Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside with his blocker.

The 2-0 lead held into the third period, when Kyle Connor scored on the power play for the Jets to cut the lead to one. Marchessault restored the two-goal lead 1 minute, 28 seconds later.

"I was not impressed with Vegas' play at all". "That part I think was true for the whole game and we want to be better there".

"That third goal, it was a bad play by [Josh] Morrissey, yeah. We just gotta stay with it better".

The Jets pulled their goaltender to add another skater over the last couple minutes of the game, but Fleury did not let the puck get past him again.

The Jets' defender dove to poke check the Knights' Reilly Smith who was on a rush with Marchessault.

Smith slid the puck over and Marchessault made it count.

"It's going to be a great atmosphere, like all the other games at home", defenseman Deryk Engelland said.

The Golden Knights really played poorly in their opening game of this series but they got back to playing the way they did for most of the year and walked away with a 3-1 win.

Are people getting exhausted of the whiteout street party? "We like where it was in the Nashville series". That prompted organizers to try controlling attendance at 27,000 by issuing first-come, first-served free tickets.

The Capitals dominated Game 1, getting a pair of first-period goals from Michael Kempny and Alex Ovechkin to open up a 2-0 lead. The only road loss during that span was 5-4 in overtime in Game 2 against the Predators.

Jets captain Blake Wheeler said the team, which was practising in Vegas late Tuesday afternoon, needs to improve its response.

- The Jets had 33 hits in Game 1 against the Golden Knights - the most in a game since the first round against the Minnesota Wild.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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