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Stanley Cup Daily 5/15: Doubling Down

The high rollers showed up just in time for Vegas to take a split back to the Strip.

Vegas Golden Knights v Winnipeg Jets - Game Two Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Each day during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you game times and broadcast information.

Monday’s Recap

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Vegas Golden Knights at Winnipeg Jets Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Vegas Golden Knights 3, Winnipeg Jets 1 (Series tied 1-1)

The Vegas Golden Knights quieted a raucous Winnipeg crowd with a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets in Game 2 on Monday, tying the series at one game apiece.

Despite early pushes from both teams, the Golden Knights broke a scoreless tie with six minutes to go in the first period after Tomas Tatar fired a shot off the side of the net. The puck bounced off the boards and Tatar stuffed a shot past Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck after Hellebuyck jumped out of position. The former Red Wings forward was in the lineup for the first time since May 2nd. With around two and a half minutes remaining, a strong defensive effort in the neutral zone by the Golden Knights sprung Jonathan Marchessault for a breakaway. He would not be denied and stuffed the puck five-hole between Hellebuyck’s pads.

No one registered a goal in the second despite a tightly contested period. In the third, Fleury’s shutout came to an end after a shot from Kyle Connor squeaked in through a gap between Fleury’s arm and chest to pull the Jets within one. But just a few minutes later, William Karlsson delivered a beautiful pass to linemate Reilly Smith who sprung ahead with Marchessault for a 2-on-1 opportunity. Marchessault finished on a backhand to secure the 3-1 lead to silence the crowd. Despite a late push by the Jets, Fleury stood tall and held on to tie the series.

Vegas is now 6-0 in the postseason when leading after two periods and 3-0 following a loss. They will get back to work on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena. - Justin Lape

Tuesday’s Preview

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals (WAS leads series 2-0)

8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN

  1. Keep Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’: Very few would have predicted a two game sweep in Tampa from the visiting Capitals, but the momentum earned from their cathartic victory over the Penguins in round two continues to propel the Capitals offense and they netted 10 goals en route to two massive wins to open the Eastern Conference Final. Thus far in the playoffs, the Capitals are averaging just shy of four goals a game (3.78), and now they head home with an opportunity to close out the Lightning on home ice without a return engagement in Tampa. The run of spectacular play actually goes back to Round 1 for Washington, as they stormed back from down 0-2 to beat the Blue Jackets, and have now reeled off a 10-2 mark in their last 12 games.
  2. Russian Machine Breaking Opponents: In 14 postseason games, Alex Ovechkin and countryman Evgeny Kuznetsov have tallied points at a blistering pace. Each player has scored 19 points, tied for the playoff lead in points. Their combined 17 points on the power play have made that unit the most dangerous in the league currently. With both players seemingly at the top of their game, the Capitals offense can seem very hard to stop. If the Lightning hope to survive, putting the clamps on these two teammates (along with staying out of the box) will go a long way in aiding that cause.
  3. Lightning Striking Midnight? After being completely outclassed twice on home ice, the Lightning must at least earn a split in D.C. to get the series back on home ice. Game 3 is as close to a must-win as you can have, and while the Bolts were able to produce more chances offensively, they have been unable to keep up with the potent Caps. It is hard to pin too much of the struggles on Andrei Vasilevskiy, as he has faced not only a high volume of chances, but also very high quality chances. In order to get back into this series, the overall team game must improve in front of the Nnetminder so that the man between the pipes can indeed make a difference. With their backs against the wall, expect a real sense of urgency from the Bolts, which they will need to match the energy the Capitals fans are sure to provide their squad on Tuesday night. - Andy House