Jets stifle Wild to take 2-0 series lead


Dustin Byfuglien was an absolute terror, a reminder of the value of big, physical players when the game shifts into playoff mode. Same players. Same line combinations. It can never be a culmination of many things that led to an end result.

It took a lot of faith and confidence in his team to not make any changes after such an emphatic loss, especially in the playoffs.

After struggling in Game 1, Soucy answered every question thrown at him on Thursday, owning his mistakes and vowing to be better in Game 2. Expect Game 2 to resemble the first two periods more closely than the last period. Despite controlling the possession for most of the game, they still found themselves down 2-1 at one point before storming back to win.

Sean Couturier played a fantastic game and finished with three points.

It was as dominant of a game as any Winnipeg Jets fan could dream of.

After being outshot 40-20 in Game 1, coach Bruce Boudreau was asked on Friday morning how the Wild could close the gap moving forward.

"I think you want to take advantage of playing at home", Little said.

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Canadian Olympic gold medalist Sidney Crosby of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia is off to an excellent start in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But, really, Washington could have been more efficient with him if it wanted to.

But early on it still looked like he was off of his game.

Shots on goal in the final two periods were 31-8 Jets. At that point it seemed like it was only a matter of time until he let one in and the dam would once again burst.

Zach Parise had his second goal of the series when he deflected a Mikko Koivu shot past Connor Hellebuyck to end the goalie's shutout bid with 45 seconds left in the game. Minnesota, meanwhile, are in quite a different position, having long accomplished the goal of reaching the Cup hunt but always failing to advance. Instead, Elliott calmly snagged Crosby's backhand out of the air and kept the Penguins off the board.

"Unfortunately, I didn't get a good look", Hellebuyck said about the hit on Koivu. "You just try to be aggressive and play it just like any other breakaway". Whether you get beat bad or whatever, you still have to win one and it doesn't matter if it's now, the fifth, or the seventh.

When the Penguins managed to put the puck on net he stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced in what was one of the best postseason performances of his career. "I still think I can come away and have a better game".

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"I've had a major roller coaster of an National Hockey League career so far", Morrow, 25, said.

It's hard not to think that Game 1 might have gone differently for the Wild with Suter on the ice. "We gotta respond in Game 3 and get the job done on our ice". The only situation I can see where Ennis gets in is if Eriksson Ek cannot go, otherwise Jordan Greenway stays in the lineup and deservedly so as he is becoming a real force for the Wild up front.

There are postseason vets such as the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby up to their usual tricks, but there are also some first-timers in the mix this year, including new San Jose Shark Evander Kane.

"It's not about proving anything", said Elliott.

"You've got to win four", Boudreau said after the Winnipeg Jets beat the Wild 4-1 on Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference first-round series. "That is what it's all about it".

"We are going home".

What happened was another Bruins goal on the ensuing power play that made it 5-1 in the first game between the bitter rivals.

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If they keep taking penalties and giving up that many shots Elliott is going to have to be the difference in the series. But for one night on Friday he certainly did.