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Golden Knights bounce back, defeat Jets in Game 2

Marchessault scores twice for Vegas, which evens Western Final

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals, and the Vegas Golden Knights evened the Western Conference Final with a 3-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets in Game 2 at Bell MTS Place on Monday.

Game 3 of the best-of-7 series is at Vegas on Wednesday.

"Every time we [need] a big game [out] of our group, we show up, and tonight we definitely showed up," Marchessault said. "I think we showed the hockey world that we [earned] the right to be here and we're able to play against a great team."

 

[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Jets highlights | Complete Jets vs. Golden Knights series coverage]

 

Tomas Tatar scored, and Reilly Smith had two assists for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for his 71st win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, tying him with Jacques Plante for ninth place in NHL history.

Kyle Connor scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves for the Jets, who have lost three of their past four home games.

"It's a series," Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba said. "I don't think anybody is panicking. We've been here before. It's a long series. We're going to go to Vegas. We like our road game. We like where it was in the Nashville series and we're going to try and bring the same effort."

Connor cut it to 2-1 at 7:17 of the third period, scoring from a sharp angle from low in the left circle on the power play.

Video: VGK@WPG, Gm2: Connor beats Fleury on power play

Marchessault made it 3-1 at 8:45, scoring on a backhand from in front off a pass from Smith on a 2-on-1.

Tatar gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead at 13:23 of the first period, scoring at the right post after getting the rebound of his shot behind the net.

Tatar, who was a healthy scratch the past three games, replaced forward David Perron, who Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said was "not feeling well."

Video: VGK@WPG, Gm2: Tatar tucks home opening goal

"It's big, but obviously the only thing we care about is getting the win," Tatar said of his goal. "It's a team sport. It was really nice I found the net, but we won and that's great. We stole a road game and that's huge for the series."

Marchessault extended the lead to 2-0 at 17:22, scoring five-hole on Hellebuyck on a breakaway after a turnover by Connor in the neutral zone.

"There was about 57 minutes of that game that was pretty good for us," Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. "Three minutes of it got away from us. They could have scored four goals in three minutes. We just got to stay with it better."

 

Goal of the game

Marchessault's goal at 17:22 of the first period.

Video: VGK@WPG, Gm2: Marchessault beats Hellebuyck five-hole

 

Save of the game

Fleury's save on Mark Scheifele 29 seconds into the third period.

Video: VGK@WPG, Gm2: Fleury turns away Scheifele's redirect

 

Highlight of the game

Marchessault's goal at 8:45 of the third period.

Video: VGK@WPG, Gm2: Marchessault finishes Smith's feed

 

They said it

"I wouldn't say frustrated. It's more that you want to help the team any way you can, and it's just beating you up when you're in the stands and some stuff doesn't go our way. We're here all for one goal. We want to win the Cup and we're all doing everything we can to do it. If that's the choice, you have to respect it and be a good teammate and help motivate the guys as much as you can." -- Golden Knights forward Tomas Tatar

 

"Sometimes it's easier being down a goal because the other team sits back and you get to be more aggressive. Sometimes you're up a goal and it's easier for other guys because they feel like they're playing with house money, different players have less to lose just because you're up a goal. So I just think when good teams have a lead they keep their foot on the gas, they want the next goal. It's the conference final, so you're going to have two of the best teams playing each other and both teams are aggressive, both teams don't sit back when they have the lead." -- Jets forward Paul Stastny

 

Need to know

Smith has 13 assists in the playoffs, tying him with Igor Larionov (1994) for most in NHL history by a player for a team in its first postseason (San Jose Sharks). … The Golden Knights are 3-0 following a loss in the playoffs. ... Gallant said he expects Perron will play in Game 3.

 

What's next

Game 3 of Western Conference Final on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)

Video: Golden Knights even series with 3-1 win in Game 2

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