WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – 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.
“Every time we need a big game as a group, we show up,” Marchessault said. “We showed the hockey world we earned the right to be here.”
Tomas Tatar scored 6:37 into the first period for the Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 30 saves.
Kyle Connor scored midway through the third period to pull Winnipeg within a goal. Marchessault restored the two-goal lead 1:28 later.
Connor Hellebuyck had 25 saves for the Jets.
After losing the series opener, Marchessault told reporters the team faced a must-win game.
“If you’re going to talk out there in the media that you have to be better, I think you need to lead by example,” he said. “I tried to do that.”
Game 3 is Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
“I don’t think anybody is panicking,” Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba said. “We like our road game. We like where it was in the Nashville series.”
Winnipeg won three times on the top-seeded Predators’ home ice, including in Game 7 last week.