Although many expected a solid performance from each club, Jets’ netminder Laurent Brossoit stole the show, helping Winnipeg prevail 4-1 over their familiar opponent.
The Golden Knights had two of the best opportunities of the first period on an early man advantage. Off-season acquisition Max Pacioretty was stuffed by Jets’ netminder Laurent Brossoit in tight, just after sniper Jonathan Marchessault found iron on a shot from the top of the circle.
The first period featured a close shooting 20 minutes, with Vegas ending the opening frame up 10-9 in the shots department, but the teams remained scoreless after 20.
The second period was an entire different story, as the Jets put up just seven shots in the frame, while the Golden Knights registered a whopping 25 shots. Laurent Brossoit was the difference, stopping all pucks directed his way, including every shot on Vegas’ four power plays within the period. TheGolden Knights ended the period up 35-16, but trailing 2-0 on the scoreboard.
Winnipeg capitalized on two of its scoring opportunities, as both Kyle Connor and Mathieu Perreault scored breakaway-styled goals. Just moments after a stellar shorthanded goal-line stand by Brossoit, Bryan Little fed Connor late in a Joe Morrow roughing penalty. Connor walked in untouched, before finishing his break with a nifty forehand, backhand, forehand deke, bringing the home crowd to its feet on Winnipeg’s first shot of the period.
Shortly after, Perreault stripped the puck from Deryk Engelland, before walking into the Vegas zone and beating Fleury backhand for his tenth goal of the season, handing the Jets a two-goal lead with 3:37 left to play in the second period. Winnipeg killed of an extended two-man advantage to end the middle frame.
When firing that many pucks on net, one would have to go in, right? Right. Brandon Pirri redirected a Brayden McNabb point shot past Brossoit just 1:03 into the third period, cutting Winnipeg’s lead in half just like that.
Both Western Conference powerhouses exchanged chances for the remainder of the period, but the visitors were just unable to solve the Laurent Bross-wall. Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele added empty net markers to seal the deal, helping the Jets walk away with a 4-1 victory Tuesday.
Brossoit finished the night stopping 43 of 44 shots, with just one goal allowed, while Fluery gave up two goals on 25 Winnipeg shots.
Winnipeg will now hit the road for two Central Division matchups to close out the week prior to the All-Star Break. The Jets will face off against Nashville on Thursday, before taking on the Stars in Dallas on Saturday. Thursday’s game will feature a 7:00 P.M. central puckdrop and will be available on TSN3, while Saturday’s game will be at 6:00 P.M. and available to view on Sportsnet.