weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Erik Haula, linemates bounce back in Golden Knights’ 4-2 win

Updated May 17, 2018 - 12:18 am

Erik Haula was never worried.

The Golden Knights’ second-line center had been kept off the scoresheet by the Winnipeg Jets in the first two games of the Western Conference Final. In fact, he hadn’t even registered a single shot on goal.

But that all changed Wednesday in Game 3 at T-Mobile Arena.

Haula and his linemates James Neal and Alex Tuch came alive with a pair of goals as the Knights took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with a 4-2 victory.

Game 4 is 5 p.m. Friday at T-Mobile.

“I got my legs moving a little more,” Haula said of his best performance of the series. “I looked at some video and saw some things I could do better, and James and I are pretty honest about ourselves. We needed to do better and work the puck in deeper and create more opportunities for the line and I thought we did a better job of that (Wednesday).”

Haula set up Neal’s goal from behind the Winnipeg net in the second period after Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck misplayed the puck. Haula collected it and fed Neal, who was all alone and buried it into the empty net to give the Knights a 2-1 lead 12 seconds after the Jets’ Mark Scheifele had tied the score.

Haula was more aggressive Wednesday, looking to shoot and creating space for himself that had been previously denied by Winnipeg. He had a couple of shots in the first period, including a solid scoring chance after coming out of the penalty box following a tripping penalty. But Hellebuyck made a chest save to deny him.

However, Haula was just getting started.

He was winning faceoffs, going a team-best 13-9 on draws for 59 percent. He was coming up with takeaways, and led the Knights with four. He was getting shots, finishing with three, along with three others that missed the net. And he made a nice feed on Neal’s goal.

“We knew we needed to be better,” he said of his line, which was missing David Perron for the second straight game because of an undisclosed illness. “At this time of the year, you need all four of your lines working. So it was a better effort.”

Haula didn’t think the Jets were paying him or his linemates any special attention. But Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice may want to rethink that strategy heading into Game 4.

Coach Gerard Gallant said he believed Haula’s line was ready to break out.

“They played well on the road trip but they didn’t get the opportunities,” Gallant said. “(Wednesday) I thought they played really well and they had a great two periods, just like the rest of us.”

Haula, who finished with 13:33 in ice time, thought his line played better in Game 2 from Game 1, and had confidence that trend would continue in Game 3.

“I thought in Game 1 we weren’t good enough, but I thought we were a little better in Game 2 and we were better (Wednesday),” he said. “But the only thing that matters is winning.”

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knight's owner Bill Foley's House for sale in The Ridges - Real Estate Millions
Vegas Golden Knights, Fleury Make Day for Critically Ill Teenager in ESPN “My Wish” - Video
A 13-year-old Las Vegas boy who has faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated to a special day by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights in a new ESPN “My Wish” Series feature debuting Wednesday, July 17, on SportsCenter. In the feature, Doron Coldwell spends a day with the team and even gets an opportunity to replace his favorite player, three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury, in the net.
Golden Knights Sell "Battle Worn Armor" To Season Ticket Holders - Video
The Golden Knights sell their "battle worn" apparel throughout both of the teams seasons including pucks, sticks, helmets and skates.
Summerlin 4th of July Parade - VIDEO
On July 4th Summerlin will be hosting the 25th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade, an event that has grown massively over the years
Golden Knights McPhee talks on the first day of NHL free agency - VIDEO
Golden Knights incoming president of operations George McPhee addresses the media as free agency starts.
Golden Knights Trade Colin Miller as Development Camp ends - VIDEO
George McPhee speaks to the media following the end of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Development Camp Day 4 - VIDEO
Nic Hague stands out at day 4 of Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Hold First Scrimmage of Development Camp - Video
The first of three scrimmages was held at the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss what stood out to them.
Golden Knights George McPhee Discusses Erik Haula Trade - Video
A day after it was announced that Erik Haula had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, incoming President of Hockey Operations George McPhee spoke to the media discussing the move.
Golden Knights Trade Erik Haula - Video
The Golden Knights have traded Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writer Adam Hill discuss the trade.
Golden Knights Coaches Looking for Veterans to Step Up in Development Camp - Video
Day two of the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp is in the books. Director of Player Development Wil Nichol says his staff is looking for the veterans of the camp to step up and be leaders to the younger guys, while at the same time doing their best to impress the coaching staff.
Golden Knights Draft Player with Strong Hockey Bloodlines - Video
The Golden Knights drafted Mason Primeau in the 5th round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Primeau is no stranger to professional hockey, both his dad (Wayne Primeau) and his uncle (Keith Primeau) played in the NHL.
Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Talks Development Camp - VIDEO
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talks about what he expects from everyone at development camp on their first day.
Golden Knights Dylan Coghlan On Veteran Experience - VIDEO
Golden Knights defenseman Dylan Coghlan talks about his veteran experience playing in Chicago and development camp.
Golden Knights President George McPhee talks about Williams Karlsson's 8 year deal
George McPhee presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Center William Karlsson speaks to media about 8 year contract
William Karlsson presser highlights June 25, 2019.
2019 NHL Awards Highlight Video
The 2019 NHL Awards took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Though Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone came close to winning the best defensive forward trophy, St. Louis Blues center Ryan O' Reilly took home the coveted Frank Selke Trophy. Jason Zucker, who was raised in Las Vegas and plays for the Minnesota Wild, accepted the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarianism. Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov took home the NHL's MVP Award. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mark Stone and Stanley Cup visit MGM Grand
Mark Stone took photos and signed autographs for Golden Knights fans at the MGM Grand on Sunday. The Stanley Cup also made its way into the MGM Grand Main Lobby. The most revered trophy in hockey is on display to celebrate the upcoming 2019 NHL awards at the Mandalay Bay Center on June 19th. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights, Raiders Unite for Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
Golden Knights and Raiders players alike were more than excited to join together in a charity softball game to raise money for pediatric cancer. Players from both teams cannot wait for the Raiders to arrive in Las Vegas so more joint events can take place.
Golden Knights and Raiders Raise over $100K in Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
In the first-ever Battle For Vegas Charity Softball Game, the Golden Knights and Raiders raised $136,000 for the Tyler Robinson Foundation. At the end of the nights, it was the Raiders that raised the Battle For Vegas trophy, after beating the Golden Knights 20-16. Take a look at some of the highlights from the game!
Golden Knights' Reilly Smith Ready to Battle for Vegas - Video
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith is ready to Battle For Vegas in a charity softball game that will feature various celebrity athletes, including teammates Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Reaves and Erik Haula. Smith's team will face off against former Raider Marcus Allen and his teammates, including Vontaze Burfict, Josh Jacobs and Maurice Hurst. The charity softball game is set to take place on Saturday, June 15th at the Las Vegas Ballpark.
Golden Knights Will Have a New Home in Henderson - Video
The Golden Knights are saying goodbye to the Henderson Convention Center and hello to the team's new hockey facility that will be located in the second largest city in Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kelly McCrimmon Gets Promoted to Golden Knight General Manager - Video
The Vegas Golden Knights have announced that Kelly McCrimmon has been promoted to General Manager of the team, effective September 1, 2019. Regarding his new role, McCrimmon will represent the Golden Knights at the NHL's General Managers Meetings and will be the point of contact for other league GMs.
Golden Knights Say an "Awful Call" Cost Them the Series - Video
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault believe that an "awful call" by the officials cost them game 7.
Golden Knights Fans Watch Game 7 at T-Mobile - VIDEO
Golden Knights went through a roller coaster in game 7 which lead to the Knights loss 5-4 in overtime.
Seattle NHL expansion team close to naming GM, sources say

Seattle’s NHL expansion team is close to an agreement with Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis to become its first general manager, a person with direct knowledge tells The Associated Press.

Golden Knights re-sign defenseman Jake Bischoff

The 6-foot-1-inch, 194-pound blue liner appeared in 60 games for the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves last season and had 13 points (two goals, 11 assists).