NHL Playoffs: Golden Knights Top Jets With 2nd-Period Spurt – New York Times

James Neal scored the tiebreaking goal and assisted on the eventual game-winner in a stretch of less than three minutes in the second period Wednesday night as the Vegas Golden Knights dumped the visiting Winnipeg Jets, 4-2, in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.

The result gives Vegas a 2-1 lead in the series. Game 4 is Friday in Las Vegas, where the Golden Knights can close within a game of being the first expansion team since the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues to reach the Stanley Cup final.

Neal’s fourth playoff goal came 12 seconds after Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele scored the first of his two goals at 5 minutes 28 seconds of the second period on a deflection of Blake Wheeler’s centering pass from the right corner.

On the ensuing play, Vegas’s Erik Haula took the puck from Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck behind the net and fed Neal at the goal mouth.

Neal turned passer at 8:13 of the middle period, making a perfect feed to Alex Tuch at the doorstep. Tuch flipped it past Hellebuyck for a 3-1 Vegas lead.

Winnipeg owned most of the third period but couldn’t solve Marc-Andre Fleury. The Vegas goalie made 15 of his 33 saves in the final 20 minutes, including two terrific stops on consecutive Scheifele tries from the slot.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page B10 of the New York edition with the headline: A Spurt in the Second Period Lifts Vegas Over the Jets. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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