Golden Knights seek to feast even more on Winnipeg turnovers

Points off turnovers usually is associated with basketball or football, not hockey.

But, in the case of the Golden Knights, the statistic suddenly has become relevant.

The Knights’ ability to force — and capitalize on — mistakes by Winnipeg in the past two games is a primary reason they hold a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference Final.

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

“I think what happens in hockey games, when they’re playing real well, we make some turnovers. When we’re jumping on them and forcing them to make mistakes, the same thing happens,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said Thursday at City National Arena following his team’s optional skate.

“Players are going to make mistakes for both teams, and if you can take advantage of it, that’s what usually makes it exciting for the fans.”

Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault has been the prime benefactor of the Jets’ generosity the past two games, scoring three goals directly off turnovers in the neutral zone or at the Knights’ blue line.

In Game 2, Jets forward Kyle Connor had an opportunity to dump the puck into the Knights’ zone with his team looking for a line change late in the first period. Instead, Knights forward Reilly Smith stole the puck at the red line, leading to a breakaway for Marchessault and a 2-0 lead.

During the third period of that game, Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry intercepted a pass near the Knights blue line. But instead of making the simple play and sending the puck deep so the Jets could set up their forecheck, Lowry tried to stickhandle through the legs of Smith.

Smith wasn’t fooled, and the turnover led to a 2-on-1 that Marchessault buried to cap the 3-1 victory.

“I didn’t think we were trying to do too much with the puck,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “We’ve had some easily visible turnovers that ended up in the back of our net, but the goals we scored would have come off turnovers as well. When you lose the game, those are the reasons that are pointed to.

“We don’t normally turn the puck over a lot, (but) it’s certainly been front and center the last two games. It’s certainly something we talk about, but I think the results have been more damning than the numbers.”

It was a similar story in Game 3, as Winnipeg’s inability (or, perhaps, reluctance) to get the puck deep in the Knights’ zone proved costly.

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

In the opening minute, Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb closed down Winnipeg’s high-scoring center Mark Scheifele near the Knights’ blue line and forced him into a bad pass.

McNabb gained possession and whipped the puck ahead where Marchessault outraced Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba before scoring.

Alex Tuch’s second-period goal had similar beginnings, as Connor unsuccessfully tried to dump the puck in deep. Defenseman Nate Schmidt knocked it out of midair, and the Knights quickly transitioned the other way, with James Neal eventually finding Tuch uncovered in front of the Winnipeg net.

“I felt like we skated more. We were more in their face at all times,” Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said. “The forecheck worked better, and if you’re always facing five guys — guys that work as hard as they can — the ice gets smaller and there’s less room.

“I think that’s what we felt the first game. They were skating more than us, and I felt like the last two games, we’ve been skating a little bit more, especially in the beginning of the games.”

The Knights’ pressure was stifling in the first period on Wednesday, as Winnipeg was limited to three shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes.

But the Jets controlled play for most of the final two periods, and the Knights are expecting Winnipeg to make adjustments heading into Game 4.

“We’re a fast team, and I feel we’re playing a hard style right now. I feel that’s a little bit frustrating at times for teams,” Knights defenseman Shea Theodore said. “With how the game went (Wednesday) night, obviously they’re going to change a couple things. It’d be big going up 3-1 for us, and as a team, you never want to go down 3-1 as opposed to having a tied series. We know they’re going to come hard.”

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

Contact David Schoen at or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Have Stellar Second Period Against Oilers
Golden Knights have stellar second period against the Edmonton Oilers on the road. Review-Journal sports writers Adam Hill and columnist Ed Graney break down the Knights 6-3 win over the Oilers.
Golden Knights Assistant Coach On Win In Edmonton
Golden Knights Defenseman Nate Schmidt On Win Against Oilers
Knights coach welcomes Schmidt back to lineup
Coach Gerard Gallant looks for contributions from Nate Schmidt as the defenseman returns to the Golden Knights lineup to start a road trip at Edmonton.
Nate Schmidt talks about his return after the morning skate
Nate Schmidt, returning to the Golden Knights lineup after serving a 20-game suspension, talks about his return after Sunday's morning skate. (Ed Graney/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge Knights Singing The Blues After Loss To St. Louis
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen and Adam Hill go over the Knights loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Golden Knights Gallant on the team's 4-1 loss to the Blues
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant discusses the team's 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues and says what kind of impact he expects Nate Schmidt to make upon his return.
Coach Gerard Gallant Speaks After Morning Skate
Before playing the St. Louis Blues tonight Gerard Gallant speaks with the media after the Golden Knights morning skate at City National Arena | November 16, 2018.
Coach Gallant Speaks with the Media After Practice
City National Arena | November 15, 2018.
Golden Edge: Fleury Shuts Out Anaheim
Vegas Golden Knights beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Marc-Andre Fleury gets his third shutout on the season in his shiny new pads. Adam Hill, Dave Schoen, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
Gallant on the Golden Knights win over the Ducks
Gerard Gallant discusses how key the home victory over the Anaheim Ducks was for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Knights after their 5-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks
Vegas Golden Knights players talk about the 5-0 win on their home ice over the Anaheim Ducks.
Gerard Gallant On Haula And Stastny Status
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallants speaks after practice about the status of Erik Haula and Paul Stastny.
Golden Edge: Alex Tuch Interview
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz interview Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch.
Golden Edge Mailbag With Alex Tuch
Golden Knights' Alex Tuch is LIVE in-studio for our VGK Mailbag with reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill!
Golden Edge: November 12 Practice
Ben Gotz and David Schoen discuss Nate Schmidt's return to practice, Gallant's absence, and Erik Haula's injury.
Nate Schmidt On Suspension
Golden Knights Defenseman Nate Schmidt talks about his suspension.
Golden Edge: Knights Coming Home After Loss To Boston
Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen goes over the Knights loss to the Boston Bruins.
Golden Edge: Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal
Max Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal, but it is former Golden Knight Tomas Tatar who scores the game winner for the Canadiens defeating the Knights 5-4. David Schoen reports from Montreal.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Senators On The Road
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Golden Knights win against the Senators.
Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension after practice in Ottawa (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Toronto loss
Gallant on Pacioretty
Gallant on how season has gone
Pacioretty on possible return
Golden Edge: Knights Shutout the Hurricanes
The Golden Knights defeat Carolina 3-0, with Marc-Andre Fleury marking his 50th career shutout. Adam Hill and Ed Graney report from T-Mobile Arena.
Marc-Andre Fleury and William Carrier on the Knights Win Over Carolina
November 3, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena.
Coach Gallant Presser
Gerard Gallant speaks after the Knights defeat Carolina 3-0 at T-Mobile Arena November 3, 2018.
Golden Edge: Knights Feeling Blue After Loss In St. Louis
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Gallant and Marchessault on Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault comment on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marchessault on Perron
Gallant on consistency after a loss to the Nashville Predators
Coach Gerard Gallant says the Golden Knights are playing well in stretches, but consistency has been a problem. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fleury on commercial
Marc-Andre Fleury talks about a commercial that features him in disguise as Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fleury on wig
Marc-Andre Fleury puts on a blond wig at the end of practice to get some laughs.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall To Predators
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.
Golden Edge Mailbag - October 30, 2018
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz answer your burning questions about the Golden Knights.
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like