Vegas Golden Knights reveal the soul of Sin City

Paola Ditto
Mag 18, 2018

Golden Knights center Cody Eakin (21) and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ben Chiarot (7) battle for the puck during the third period of Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference finals hockey playoff series at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. While ticket prices for Friday's Game 4 spiked as high as $5,000 on Monday, they ranged between $259 and $2,500 as the puck dropped for Game 3.

After the Jets came out flying in a 4-2 win in the opener of the Western Conference Final, they tried to beat the Knights with speed and finesse in Game 2 but failed in a 3-1 loss in Winnipeg.

Marchessault scored his seventh goal of the playoffs just 35 seconds into the game as he took a pass from Brayden McNabb and went forehand-backhand to slip the puck past Hellebuyck, giving the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead. Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal are among those whose signatures will be found on the autograph checklist. The NHL set up the expansion draft so teams couldn't hold onto all of their top players, and the Knights wasted no time in making Fleury the backbone of the new team.

The Golden Knights will resume their series against the Winnipeg Jets with Game 4 in Las Vegas on Friday night.

Speaking of Fleury, even if the Jets can find a way to break the hard pressure of Vegas, they still need to crack the last line of defence.

Jonathan Marchessault scored 35 seconds into Game 3 and added an empty-net goal with 2.7 seconds left to cover the puck line (-1½) and push the game over the total in what CG Technology sports book director Jason Simbal said was a $60,000 swing for his book.

"I went to the Jets game the night before, got three hours of sleep, hopped on a plane, went through Vancouver, San Francisco", Mark Kuriata said.

In Vegas, like most places, ask a cabbie for his opinion and you'll get the pulse of the community.

"I love the way the Jets brought Winnipeg together", Brandon said. "They're a good team, too", he told The Winnipeg Sun. You see the signs everywhere, you see auto flags everywhere.

"I said Fleury had to steal one or two of these games, and that was his first one", Lane said. The Knights have won four of their past five playoff games by at least two goals.

As much as 500-1 to win the Stanley Cup in this gambling city's sports books when the season began, the players that like to refer to themselves as the Golden Misfits are now incredibly the odds-on favorites to win it all. Golden Knights left winger David Perron (illness) has not played since Game 1 and is questionable to play tonight.

"Vegas just keeps on grinding, stays disciplined and keeps playing their system with a bunch of guys that really have something to prove", Lane said.

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