Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and said the expansion Vegas Golden Knights sent a message, bouncing back with a 3-1 series-evening win over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference final.
Slovakian left wing Tomas Tatar opened the scoring for Vegas 13:23 into the opening period and the Golden Knights made it 2-0 just 3:58 later after a mid-rink turnover allowed Marchessault to charge in alone and beat Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant didn't have much of an update when asked about forward David Perron, who was unavailable for Game 2. Expect Vegas' two-way presence to tighten up so that Fleury's burden of pressure is alleviated, as the 33-year-old netminder continues to serve as the Conn Smythe favorite.
One of the impressive things about Smith and the Golden Knights first line is that they don't get all the offensive zone starts that some of the other dominant lines in hockey get.
I'm not talking exclusively about his two goals or game leading 11 shot attempts, eight of which hit Connor Hellebuyck or the twine behind him. Sign up now for a free trial.
Social media personalities Justin Reves and Greg Moore met with the Vegas mascot to pick up the swag, which they plan to deliver in person.
So it should come as no surprise that as the team landed on the Las Vegas strip late Tuesday afternoon, they'd already washed their hands of Monday night's 3-1 defeat on home ice that has turned this best-of-seven series into a best-of-five - with the Vegas Golden Knights now holding home-ice advantage.
"I don't think you would have seen that (Monday) night after the game", he said.
They couldn't seem to finish plays or catch any breaks, fanning on one-timers or running out of space to shoot on the rare occasion they did have a clear lane to Golden Knights' goalie Marc-André Fleury. To that point nor was Vegas like the team in game one either. We got that 2-0 lead and it was a different game for us.
But just 88 seconds later, the Golden Knights silenced the Canadian crowd as Marchessault netted another, taking a centering pass from William Karlsson and backhanding the puck into the net.
Kyle Connor got his third goal of the playoffs on a power play goal after a rush initiated by Tyler Myers. "If his stick gets that puck we're all praising him, right?" You gotta be on your toes the entire time because they can make you pay at any moment.
No big deal, said Roy.
"We've just got to stay with it better, realize that they have some guys on their team that can make plays as well", he said. It all evens out in the end and with seven games, the best team is usually going to win. You're not just good at home, you're good no matter where you go and it doesn't matter where you go. They went 1-1 in the first round against the Minnesota Wild, then an impressive 3-1 in the second-round victory over the Nashville Predators.
"I think playing with the lead", Marchessault said. The Jets won the shot share battle, they won the scoring chance battles, what they didn't do was win the little battles.