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Golden Knights top Jets in Game 3, take series lead

Fleury, Marchessault help put Vegas two wins from Cup Final

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / NHL.com Director of Editorial

LAS VEGAS -- Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals to help the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves and James Neal had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights, who took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series and moved within two wins of the Stanley Cup Final. Game 4 is here on Friday.

 

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

 

Marchessault became the first player in NHL history to score in the first and last minute of the same Stanley Cup Playoff game. He scored 35 seconds into the first period to give Vegas a 1-0 lead, and his empty-net goal at 19:57 of the third made it 4-2.

"It's big to get that first goal in playoffs," said Marchessault, who also scored two goals in a 3-1 win in Game 2 on Monday. "Playing with the lead is definitely different than playing catching-up. It was a big goal."

Fleury preserved the Golden Knights' 3-2 lead with back-to-back highlight-reel saves against Mark Scheifele midway through the third period. It was the eighth time in 13 games this postseason Fleury has allowed two or fewer goals.

"I don't think anybody saw us here," Fleury said. "It's been a long season. It's been a lot of fun to be part of it. Really proud to be part of this team and the way these guys have been working. We deserve to be here."

Video: WPG@VGK, Gm3: Neal taps home Haula's sweet pass

Fleury made 15 saves during a third period that was dominated by the Jets.

"You get Flower as your goaltender, you're going to have chances to win games," Neal said.

After the game was tied 1-1, Vegas got two goals from its second line, which features Erik Haula between Neal and Alex Tuch.

Neal made it 2-1 on a one-timer at 5:40 of the second period, 12 seconds after Scheifele tied the game.

"For us to respond that quickly was really big for us," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. "In tight hockey games between two pretty evenly-matched teams, it was a big response from us."

Tuch made it 3-1 at 8:13. Neal had the primary assist.

"It was good to get a couple, for sure," Tuch said. "We have a part to do as well and we haven't gotten enough shots as a line, haven't gotten to the net enough. That's a big emphasis here for us. It's good to get on the board and good to get a win as well. Good to get the confidence going for our line."

Scheifele scored twice for the Jets, who are trailing in a series for the first time this postseason. Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves, but a costly turnover to Haula behind the net led to Neal's goal.

"[Haula] knocked it out of mid-air, he made a good play on it," Hellebuyck said. "I've been doing that all year long. It's unlucky that he knocked that one down. I don't know that he was even looking. He might have just swung his stick at it. But good play on him. I'm going to clean that one up. I haven't given it away too many times this year. So we [have to] put that one behind us."

Scheifele's second goal made it 3-2 when he converted Kyle Connor's feed 18 seconds into the third period.

Schiefele leads the NHL with 14 goals this postseason, matching Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks in 2016. The record is 19, held by Reggie Leach of the Philadelphia Flyers (1976) and Jari Kurri of the Edmonton Oilers (1985).

Video: WPG@VGK, Gm3: Tuch buries one-timer from the slot

 

Goal of the game

Marchessault's goal 35 seconds into the first period.

Video: WPG@VGK, Gm3: Marchessault dekes, buries backhand

 

Saves of the game

Fleury's back-to-back saves against Scheifele at 10:21 and 10:23 of the third period.

Video: WPG@VGK, Gm3: Fleury makes amazing saves on Scheifele

 

Highlight of the game

Scheifele's goal 18 seconds into the third period.

Video: WPG@VGK, Gm3: Scheifele nets record 11th road goal

 

They said it

"Hockey's one of the most imperfect games there is because you've got a puck bouncing all over the place. They're not playing perfect hockey. They're playing really well because they're a very good team. You put yourself in a tough position when you're down by a couple goals on the road, tough environment against a good team. So the onus is on us to get off to a better start." -- Jets captain Blake Wheeler

 

"It's crazy. I just saw it on the replay. Sometimes you just have to shake your head. You don't really know how he makes those saves. Glad he's on our team. He's been doing it all year." -- Golden Knights defenseman Luca Sbisa on Marc-Andre Fleury's saves against Jets forward Mark Scheifele in the third period

 

Need to know

Schiefele set an NHL playoff record with his 11th goal on the road. Joe Mullen of the Calgary Flames (1989) and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins (2009) each scored 10. … Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers was scratched with an undisclosed injury and was replaced by forward Jack Roslovic. … Golden Knights forward David Perron missed his second straight game because of an illness. … Scheifele's and Neal's goals in the second period were the fastest in a playoff game since the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers scored 11 seconds apart in Game 2 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

 

What's next

Game 4 of Western Conference Final at T-Mobile Arena on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, CBC, TVAS)

 

Video: Marchessault scores twice for Vegas in Game 3 win

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