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The Winnipeg Jets sniper was eager to get the experience under his belt and he did more than that, supplying the game-tying goal at 4:51 of the third period, setting the stage for his team to walk away with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night at Bell MTS Place.
The Jets' plane returned to Winnipeg, so the club flew to Minnesota Sunday. The last thing the Jets needed to do at that point, up 2-0 in games and halfway home in this best-of-seven series, was to turn what has always been a mostly friendly and good-natured rivalry with a hockey neighbor into a bitterly fought battle to the death. "I put these kinds of games behind me no matter when they happen. We didn't play anywhere near our level tonight, and it's a fine line for us", said the Jets captain. "Overall, as a group we can be a little more assertive, a little better, and we'll look to do that tomorrow". Mercifully, Jets coach Paul Maurice pulled him for the third period and gave him a chance to get a little extra mental and physical rest for Game 3, while Steve Mason mopped up. He walked by Minnesota winger Jason Zucker and then whipped a shot past Devan Dubnyk. But when that second period started, we weren't able to get faster.
Teams that go up 2-0 in a playoff round by winning both games at home go on to win the series 89.3 per cent of the time. "We have to have everybody on board to execute and respond".
Winnipeg controlled the first two games, holding a decided 84-37 edge in shots before the Wild climbed back into the series Sunday night.
If only the Minnesota Wild could order up another blizzard.
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The Wild broke open a tight, tough-hitting affair in the second period when they outscored the reeling Jets 4-1 to eventually skate to a convincing 6-2 victory. Asked if he could tweak the defensive pairings, Boudreau said, "We'll consider everything".
Perreault scored 17 goals and 39 points in 70 games for Winnipeg this season.
The Jets won 19 playoff games during their first time in the National Hockey League. Parise freed himself from a tie-up in traffic with Jacob Trouba to move in position for the redirect of the second one.
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg's 24-year-old starting goaltender, had an outstanding regular season as he finished with a 44-11-9 record plus a 2.36 goals-against average and.924 save percentage. Then came the goals by Greenway and Staal, and the rout was on.
"That's the style we want to play". "And that's when the game changed. He deked our player, we didn't hold the middle, and he got to come right down Main Street". Myers had to be helped off the ice and did not return. Maurice had no update on the defenseman's condition, but without elaborating he suggested the injury could have been avoided. Eriksson Ek was one of the Wild's top forwards in game one and has been an integral part of the teams strong play down the stretch.
There was a lot to like, at least, about the Wild's performance. The puck hit his glove and fell in the corner of the net, a soft goal if there ever was one.