In fact, with the Wild's postseason history and bad first-round matchup, expectations outside the locker room have never been lower heading into a playoff series, which is odd for a team that earned 101 points.
A split is always the goal of the road team in the first two games of a seven game series, and the Wild had an opportunity with a 3rd period lead in game one. "You'd like to say you played the ideal game, but somebody else has a vote out there", coach Jon Cooper said Saturday after a 5-3 victory in Game 2 of the first-round matchup.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - It's great to play well, even better to win.
Winnipeg was a very solid offensive team this year as they ranked 2nd in the league in scoring at 3.33 gpg, while also ranking 14th in shots taken (32.2 spg) and 5th in power play conversions, converting on 23.4% of their chances. The last time these two teams faced off in the postseason was in 2012 in a 6-game series where goals were going in all over the place.
The Jets fired many shots at Dubnyk but he survived the second period.
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Jets forward Mathieu Perreault left in the second period with an upper-body injury and head coach Paul Maurice had no update. That includes Stanley Cup Final appearances by Matt Cullen, Zach Parise and Eric Staal. "We're going to come home in front of our fans and be ready to play Game 3".
Roseau's Dustin Byfuglien had an active Game 1 for the Jets, leveling Minnesota's Joel Eriksson Ek in the second period, drawing a roughing penalty and picking up an assist on Winnipeg's first goal. Dubnyk stopped 37 shots for the Wild, who were third in the division with 101 points (45-26-11). That included three shots at Hellebuyck during a power play with Myers in the box for tripping. With shot after shot, opportunity after opportunity, the Jets continued to pour on the offence, for the duration of minutes 21 through 40. They were then clinical with their own chances - the flawless way to steal a game on the road.
One will go in an alcohol-free area at Millennium Library Park, where True North vice-president for venues and entertainment Kevin Donnelly says you can bring those lawn chairs there wasn't space to set down on Wednesday night.
It was complete domination from the Jets on this particular night, as the Wild weren't competitive in the slightest. "We know the series is (far) from over and we're just taking it one game at a time". "The crowd seems to like it, so we like it, too". Paul Stastny scored at 7:42 of the third period to extend the lead.
"We did bend a little bit in the third but didn't break, so it's a good feeling to be up 2-0", Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said.