Laine makes first goal count: Jets sniper ties game in third period

Jets top Wild 3-2 in playoff opener

Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets, 4-13-2018 - Pick and Prediction

Mark Schiefele, with a power-play goal, and Patrik Laine also scored for Winnipeg, which hosts Game 2 Friday. "I think we showed pieces of our game, but I don't think we played to our level". Other NHL expansion teams have done better, with the Florida Panthers making the Stanley Cup Final in their third season (1995-96), the Wild making it to the conference finals in their third season (2002-03), the San Jose Sharks making the playoffs and winning a first-round series in their third season (1993-94), the Anaheim (then Mighty) Ducks making the playoffs and winning a first-round series in their fourth season (1996-97), the Tampa Bay Lightning making the postseason and winning two games in their fourth year (1995-96), the Ottawa Senators making the playoffs and winning three games in their fifth season (1996-97), the Nashville Predators making it and winning two games in their sixth season (2003-04). The old Jets, who are now the Coyotes, won plenty, but all the playoff history this Winnipeg organization had since moving from Atlanta to Manitoba in 2011 was a four-game sweep at the hands of the Ducks in 2015. "To have a little, I don't even know if you want to call it a Cinderella story of a night tonight, it makes you feel good".

The Jets posted an NHL-best 32-7-2 home record during the regular season.

It's important that they hold serve.

To wit, let's take a look at five players who have already wowed us so far in the National Hockey League postseason.

"We are going home. From what we've gone through this year that's something we'd be prepared for". Game 3 is Sunday in Minnesota. Home-ice advantage in the playoffs, you have it for a reason.

If the Wild can bait the Jets into the kind of penalties they fell victim to in recent seasons, maybe Minnesota will have a shot to offset some of Winnipeg's statistical advantages here, but the safe bet is on the Jets simply overpowering their division rivals with the strength of their power play.

This week, both teams will start going head-to-head, with the Jets eyeing an immediate surge with their youth movement and the Wild desperately longing to get over the hump.

"Every game down there is like a playoff game", said Gallant in describing the atmosphere at Golden Knights' home games.

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"The only thing I can compare it to is when I was in Montreal in the playoffs four or five years ago, when we had those good runs for a couple of years when I was an assistant coach". Jets defenceman Ben Chiarot led all players with 10 hits, while Dustin Byfuglien and Adam Lowry were punishing forces.

But to a man, the Jets believe they can and will play better than they did in Game 1. "That's when we let them keep coming back at us". "The guys played so well in front of me, there's no fault". "But we responded well". "Maurice provided no update on him other than to say "(Matt) Hendricks and (Dmitry) Kulikov are out.

Kadri was tossed from Toronto's Game 1 loss at Boston for boarding Wingels, and Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson was thrown out of their overtime victory at Washington for a hit from behind that injured Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny.

"Momentum doesn't carry over from game to game in the playoffs", defenceman Josh Morrissey said. But the simple fact starting goalie Brian Elliott was able to bounce back after giving up five goals on only 19 shots in Game 1 (the fifth time in five meetings this season that the Penguins had scored at least five goals against the Flyers) before getting pulled and play the game he did may have been the single biggest factor in the win. Minnesota wanted to make a statement early and they did, up 5-0 in shots and dominating during a power play - yet they could not get a puck past Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, he of the Vincent Price goatee and eyebrows.

"Obviously, Fleury won three Cups with Pittsburgh and they had a great run", said Gallant. "The crowd seems to like it, so we like it, too". "I'll take a faceoff off an icing all day long over a turnover there".

"[Roslovic] fills in pretty good for Perreault", Jets forward Bryan Little said.

"It was a bad turnover".

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