Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 33 of 35 shots in Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.
Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault continued right where he left off in Game 2, opening the scoring just 35 seconds into Game 3.”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.”
The Winnipeg Jets were their own worst enemy in this contest, committing critical mistakes that made life way too easy for the Golden Knights. Neal made it 2-1 on a one-timer at 5:40 of the second period, just 12 seconds after Scheifele tied the game. Jets’ Goalie, Connor Hellebuyck, was caught way out of position, after attempting to handle the puck behind the net, making this an easy tap-in for Neal.
“[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.”
“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.”
Alex Tuch made it 3-1 for Vegas after a sloppy exchange in coverage between the two Winnipeg defenseman.
Scheifele’s second goal made it 3-2 when he converted Kyle Connor’s feed 18 seconds into the third period.
The Winnipeg Jets would eventually clean up the mistakes and mount a serious push towards a third period comeback. Unfortunately, for them,Marc-Andre Fleury once again had all of the answers. Fleury was terrific in this game, especially in the third period when he turned aside 15 of the 16 shots directed his way. With his team up 3-2 midway through the third frame, the veteran made two incredible saves on Mark Scheifele, (Who was looking for the hat trick), to keep his team ahead.
😱 YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!? 😱 pic.twitter.com/FQHrT0SEbv
— NHL (@NHL) May 17, 2018
Fleury improves his record to 10-6 this postseason. The Golden Knights lead this best-of-seven series 2-1. If Vegas ends up winning the Stanley Cup, Fleury will definitely come away with the Conn Smythe Trophy given to the MVP of the playoffs.