Day 35 had less scoring than most nights this postseason but wasn’t without excitement as Vegas held onto a back and forth dog fight to take a 3-1 series lead. Behind the usual all-star performance by their goaltender, the Golden Knights outfought the Jets in Game 4 to fall within one win of the Stanley Cup Final.
Here’s how it went down:
Winnipeg 2-3 Las Vegas
Las Vegas leads series 3-1
— NHL (@NHL) May 19, 2018
After dropping two in a row to the Golden Knights the Winnipeg Jets hoped to find a way to solve what has been a more than stellar Marc-Andre Fleury and tie the series at two before heading back to Manitoba for Game 5.
However, Vegas had other plans and would be the first team to strike less than three minutes into the game. One minute and 50 seconds into the first period Tyler Myers took a bad interference penalty, cross-checking Ryan Carpenter with the puck nowhere near him.
On the powerplay the Golden Knights would score 30 seconds into the man-advantage. Jonathan Marchessault sent a pass through the slot to William Karlsson on the other side, who one-timed his sixth of the playoffs for a 1-0 lead.
The Jets would even the score in the second period. On the powerplay, the first unit for Winnipeg went to work and after missing on a one-time shot, Patrik Laine got a second chance and made sure he capitalized.
Blake Wheeler sent a pass to Dustin Byfuglien, who quickly sent it to Laine to the right of Fleury. Laine blasted a one-timer past the Vegas net minder before he had a chance to read the play to tie the game at one.
The tie didn’t last long as Vegas quickly took the lead. After a dump-in, Tomas Nosek buried his first of the playoffs, a wrap-around attempt to the right of Connor Hellebuyck 42 seconds after the Laine goal.
Winnipeg however, would tie the game in the third period. With Vegas on a change, Tyler Myers shot the puck between the five-hole of Fleury, although no one noticed. The entire building thought the Knights’ goaltender had the puck in his pads, when it had hit the back of the net and back to the netminder for a 2-2 tie.
— NHL (@NHL) May 19, 2018
Reilly Smith has spent the playoffs setting his teammates up. With seven minutes left in the game he became the hero. After Byfuglien fanned on a one-timer from the blue-line, Smith took off with the puck up the wing and held patient with Josh Morrissey closing in. Smith sniped a shot over the shoulder of Hellebuyck for a 3-2 lead.
It’s a party inside
It’s a party outside pic.twitter.com/ZlLMqUF1Cg
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 19, 2018
The Vegas Golden Knights did just enough to solidify the victory and a 3-1 series lead heading back to Winnipeg. Marc-Andre Fleury quietly did what he’s been doing all postseason. Dominate. Fleury stopped 36 of 38 shots from the Jets.
JiGame 5 takes place Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. MT from Bell MTS Place.