The Golden Knights have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Jets tonight in Game 4. But if the third period of Game 3 is any indication, this will be no easy task.
Vegas held on for dear life as Winnipeg threw everything including multiple kitchen sinks at Marc-Andre Fleury in the third period of Wednesday’s Game 3 contest. Thanks to an outstanding performance by Fleury, the Knights were able to hold off the Jets’ incredible surge and pull out a 4-2 win.
Mark Scheifele scored his 13th and 14th goals of the postseason Wednesday night, which not only extended his lead in goals among all players in the playoffs but also set an NHL record for most road goals in a single postseason.
However, several Knights players had particularly strong games as well. James Neal scored a goal 12 seconds after Scheifele tied the game at 1-1 and then contributed a key assist on Alex Tuch’s goal less than three minutes later, which turned out to be the game-winner. Also, Jonathan Marchessault had another two-goal performance after scoring 35 seconds into the game and getting an empty-netter to seal the win with 2.7 seconds left in the third period. However, Fleury was the true star of the game.
Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers was a late scratch the other night, which made Winnipeg’s offense a little less dynamic. However, he is expected to play in Game 4, according to Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun.
Update on #NHLJets F Nikolaj Ehlers. He was ill, not injured. That's what kept him out of Game 3. Ehlers is available for tonight's Game 4 of Western Conference final vs #VGK— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) May 18, 2018
David Perron has missed the last two games with an illness, though he could return tonight as well.
Gallant says “good chance” Perron plays tonight.— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) May 18, 2018
Then asks @SinBinVegas, “You want my lines too?”
“Yep,” says Ken.
The Knights have won back-to-back games even with Perron out of the lineup, but if he is able to go, there’s very little doubt Gerard Gallant will jump at the opportunity to get the top-six winger back into the mix. That would mean that one of Tomas Tatar, Ryan Carpenter, Tomas Nosek and Ryan Reaves would be a healthy scratch.
With Perron still labeled a game-time decision, here are the current projected lines for both teams:
Golden Knights lineup
Jonathan Marchcessault — William Karlsson — Reilly Smith
Alex Tuch — Erik Haula — James Neal
Tomas Tatar — Cody Eakin — Ryan Carpenter
Tomas Nosek — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb — Nate Schmidt
Shea Theodore — Deryk Engelland
Luca Sbisa — Colin Miller
Kyle Connor — Mark Scheifele — Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers — Paul Stastny — Patrik Laine
Brandon Tanev — Adam Lowry — Bryan Little
Mathieu Perreault — Andrew Copp — Joel Armia
Josh Morrissey — Jacob Trouba
Toby Enstrom — Dustin Byfuglien
Ben Chiarot — Tyler Myers
ICYMI, check out our preview for tonight’s game.