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, Fla. — After being the final team in the league to start the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning finally get the chance to be back on the ice Thursday when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday at Amalie Arena.Tampa Bay has been off since opening the season with a shootout victory against the Florida Panthers on Saturday. Vancouver, meanwhile, already has three games under its belt following Tuesday’s loss at Carolina.The Lightning, a Stanley Cup favorite this season, looked anything like a top contender despite the victory on opening night after allowing 43 shots on goal to the Panthers. With the extended time off between games, Tampa Bay went back to a training camp mindset looking to have a stronger showing in the second game.Article continues below ...“We need to raise our compete level, we didn’t execute plays like we usually do,” Lightning forward Yanni Gourde said. “We turned too many pucks over and that was part of why we played like we did in the first period. We know we need to work on that and we were out on the ice (for practice) and working hard it it, so that’s good for us.”Despite the victory on opening night, the Lightning are aware their level of play needs to rise quickly to live up to the expectations they have for themselves, let alone the outside expectations. They should get a boost with the return of Tyler Johnson http://www.officialflyersproshop.com/authentic-adidas-shayne-gostisbehere-jersey
, who missed the final two weeks of preseason plus the season opener due to an upper-body injury.Johnson has been practicing all week with the team and expects to be in the lineup when Tampa Bay returns to action. That has forced head coach Jon Cooper to move some personnel around when it comes to line combinations.“There’s parts of our game we liked from last game and some we didn’t,” Cooper said. “We are trying to find the best mix possible so we can score more than one shorthanded goal in a game. This is what we’re doing now. We’re just trying to find the chemistry a little bit.”The Canucks don’t have similar expectations in the first year of the post-Sedin era. Vancouver is in the midst of a rebuild with the likes of Bo Horvat, Brock Boesner and Calder Trophy candidate Elias Pettersson.But, starting the season with one victory in three games leaves a bit of an empty feeling despite the optimism with some of the youth injected in to the lineup.“Losing sucks,” Horvat told the Vancouver Province. “No matter how many goals you score, if you lose at the end of the day, it’s still a loss. For us, that’s our main focus: We want to win hockey games. That’s the main goal.”Canucks head coach Travis Green has been moving the lines around to try to find the right mix of offense — which has not been a problem in the early going — and defense, which has been a bit of an issue, allowing 14 goals in the opening three games. LAS VEGAS (AP) Jonathan Marchessault vowed after the Golden Knights‘ morning skate to come out swinging in Game 3 of the Western Conference final, looking to avoid a back-and-forth affair with the Winnipeg Jets.He didn’t disappoint.For the second straight game, Marchessault scored two goals – including one just 35 seconds into the game – to lead Vegas to a 4-2 victory Wednesday night Travis Konecny Jersey
, helping the expansion Golden Knights to a 2-1 series lead.Vegas, two wins from advancing to the Stanley Cup final, improved to 5-1 at home in the playoffs and host Game 4 on Friday night.”We worked all year to get in a position like that,” Marchessault said. ”We definitely can’t take it for granted. They got to come out like their season’s on the line, so we’ve got to be ready to push back and get some energy off the crowd.”Marchessault added an empty-net goal with 3 seconds left, becoming the first player in league history to score in the first and last 60 seconds of the same Stanley Cup playoff game, according to the NHL. He leads Vegas with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in the postseason, and needs two goals to tie the NHL record for the most by a player in his club’s first postseason appearance.James Neal and Alex Tuch also scored for Vegas, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 33 shots.Mark Scheifele scored both of Winnipeg’s goals and has a playoff-leading 14 goals in 15 postseason games. Connor Hellebuyck had 26 saves for the Jets, who arrived in Las Vegas having outscored their opposition 23-15 in road games during the playoffs.”A few miscues and they made us pay for it; that can’t happen,” Scheifele said. ”We can’t sulk on this too long. We’ve got to pick ourselves up tomorrow and be ready for a big game on Friday.”Scheifele is correct Adam Cracknell Jersey Womens
, with history against the Jets, who are trailing in a series for the first time this postseason. Teams with a 2-1 lead in the conference final (or NHL semifinals) have won the series 35 of 43 times (81.4 percent) since 1975.”That’s an important challenge,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. ”We’re going to have to be able to handle that. It would be rare that you lead the series straight through. We want to make sure we deal with our loss, don’t carry it too heavily and then come up with our finest game of the post-season.”The problem for Winnipeg is stopping a Golden Knights team that is finally seeing production from the depth of its lineup.While Marchessault got things going early to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead, their second line of Neal, Tuch and Erik Haula continued to heat up.After Scheifele tied the game in the second period, Neal answered 12 seconds later after Haula dished a perfect pass to give the Knights a 2-1 lead. Tuch notched his fifth goal of the playoffs after Neal fed him with a nifty pass from behind the net.”They played on the road trip, they just didn’t have many chances to score and I thought they were more involved in the offense and they were skating, and they played really well,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said about his second line.Scheifele’s second goal of the game 18 seconds into the third seemingly sparked the Jets, but they couldn’t solve Fleury, who made several huge saves late in the game to preserve Vegas’ lead.After stonewalling Tyler Myers‘ breakaway attempt with 11:50 left in the game Wayne Simmonds Jersey
, he stymied Scheifele’s back-to-back shot with 9:30 remaining. Less than two minutes later, he smothered the puck with a slew of players piled near the crease.”He’s made unbelievable saves,” Gallant said of Fleury. ”They were obviously important at a key time for us. That’s Fleury. He’s been great all playoffs, he’s been great all year for us. He’s a guy that has fun out there. I’m sweating on the bench yelling my head off and I look down there and he’s just having fun.”He sure is. During a scrum behind the Golden Knights’ net with 2:34 left in the second period, Fleury reached over and tickled the left ear of the Jets’ Blake Wheeler – whose back was to the goalie.”I was just sitting there and people, they were fighting,” Fleury said, ”and (I was) trying to have a little smile by myself. That was it.”Winnipeg pulled Hellebuyck with 1:03 left, but Marchessault’s empty-netter with 3 seconds left sealed the win.”I didn’t imagine it in October and November, but come around January, we knew we had a good hockey team,” Gallant said. ”I didn’t know if we’d go this far right now Womens Bryan Rust Jersey
, but I knew we had (as good) a chance as anybody else. Early January, around the All-Star game, I was a strong believer in our team. I knew we were going to battle well, compete well and no one was going to push us over, that’s for sure.”NOTES: The Jets had scored a power-play goal in 11 of the 13 playoff games, but was 0 for 2 with a man advantage in this one. … Winnipeg hadn’t lost back-to-back games during the playoffs. The last time it dropped consecutive games was a three-game losing streak (0-2-1) from March 10-13. … The Golden Knights welcomed the family of Humboldt Broncos head coach and GM Darcy Haugan, wife Christina and children Carson and Jackson. … With his two goals, Scheifele now owns the NHL record for most goals scored on the road in a single playoffs with 11, surpassing Sidney Crosby and Joe Mullen, each with 10.UP NEXTGame 4 is Friday night in Las Vegas.