LAS VEGAS — James Neal’s goal and assist paced the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-2 playoff win over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.
The expansion Golden Knights lead the best-of-seven NHL Western Conference final two games to one with Game 4 back at T-Mobile Arena on Friday. The series returns to Winnipeg for Sunday’s Game 5.
The winner of the series advances to the Stanley Cup to face the winner of the Eastern Conference final between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Caps led that series 2-1.
Neal briefly left the game and headed to the dressing room after a hard hit from Jets bruiser Dustin Byfuglien in the opening period, but the Whitby, Ont., winger scored and set up the eventual winning goal in the second.
Jonathan Marchessault scored twice, including an empty-netter, for Las Vegas with Alex Tuch also contributing a goal to the victory.
Mark Scheifele scored his NHL-leading 13th and 14th playoff goals for Winnipeg, but the Jets suffered a second loss in a row for the first time in this post-season after falling 3-1 at home Monday in Game 2.
Scheifele’s 11th playoff goal on road bettered the NHL record of 10 previously held by Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby.
Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had 33 saves for the win and fended off the Jets in the third when they outshot the hosts 16-8.
He got his toe on a Byfuglien chance with less than four minutes remaining in regulation.
Fleury stopped Byfuglien’s point-blank one-timer in the second period and poked the puck away …read more