"But oh well, now that the Jets realize Vegas is a good team and they're someone to contend with, it'll be a hard-fought series", he said.
Tomas Tatar scored 6:37 into the game for the Golden Knights.
With Kyle Connor getting the Jets within one in the third the Golden Knights struck back with a fury as a quick rush a minute later had Marchessault get them back to a two goal lead and the eventual final score of 3-1. The Jets have never trailed in a playoff series this spring, nor have they lost two in a row.
Despite a capacity for 27,000 and the temperature still being a toasty 15 C at 9:30 p.m., just 11,000 party-goers showed up Monday, according to Economic Development Winnipeg, which organizes the event.
"A bounce back", forward Mathieu Perreault said following the morning skate in response to a question about what to expect. "He's been great for us all year".
No lineup changes are expected for Winnipeg. And following the Golden Knights' 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, a road win in a raucous building that drew the series level at one win apiece, Vegas made good on that promise.
The Jets were 1-1-1 against the Golden Knights during the regular season. "We just couldn't get any momentum going". It all evens out in the end and with seven games, the best team is usually going to win.
"We didn't feel we started poorly at all", Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
"Our game doesn't change much".
Ideally for the Golden Knights, tonight's Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Winnipeg Jets will go a lot like Saturday's Game 1 - only in reverse. But then I got picked up by Vegas and I thought to myself: "'This is my big chance and it's up to me to take it.' I'm glad I took it". "I think every professional player loves being able to step up on a stage like this".
He joked that it's "pure luck" that has prevented Winnipeg from losing two consecutive games.
"[They made] cute plays when they should have just dumped the puck in or made the right freeze and pass".
Of course, the Jets have been excellent on the road in these playoffs, including winning three games in rowdy Nashville to dust off the Predators in their last series.
With arguably the best top-six forward group in the National Hockey League and Dustin Byfuglien leading a defense that can roll out five players who can log at least 20 minutes per night, Winnipeg is the better team in this series on paper.
"If you're going to talk out there in the media that you have to be better, I think you need to lead by example", he said. "It pays dividends when you play the game". It's a little startling, considering he has been a good player on some very good teams the last decade, that Perron is this deep into the playoffs for the first time. The Golden Knights have gone 4-1 at home in the postseason and have averaged 3.60 gpg in those games, while here at home for the year they have gone 33-13 and have averaged 3.57 gpg and have allowed 2.39 gpg in those games. "Heavy on both sides", Wheeler said. I think that feeds into our game, too.
"Honestly, we've been going day by day, and day by day we've continued to win", Haula said. "That's why we say those stupid things".
Said Prior: "When you have somebody who's as gifted as Marc is, it's trying to keep him playing to his potential all the time". Because in some ways the systemization of these teams takes years.