Jets beat Wild 4-1 to take 2-0 series lead

Perhaps the most important thing for the Jets to do now is have a short memory.

"We stuck up for each other", Wild centre Eric Staal said. He will most certainly be better this evening which will also help to improve the confidence and game of Carson Soucy as well.

The Jets entered the playoffs on a five-game winning streak and a 9-1 record over their last 10, and they're far ahead of schedule, leapfrogging preseason expectations of playing spoiler to enter their first postseason series in three years.

With two suspensions, two misconduct ejections for boarding that resulted in injuries, plus Capitals winger Tom Wilson's hit to the head that knocked Columbus center Alexander Wennberg out of the game, it has been a rough start to the playoffs - and there have only been eight games played.

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

In the final two-and-a-half minutes of Game 1, the Winnipeg Jets iced the puck six times and had to deal with exhausted players and potentially damaging faceoffs in their own zone. While you're here you might as well give it all you've got. He skated for the third consecutive day on Wednesday morning, a telltale sign that he should be ready to go for puck drop. "He might give up a chance here and there, but he creates more chances than he gives up".

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

Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien threw two big hits nine seconds apart, the first on Wild forward Mikael Granlund in front of the Winnipeg bench, the second a slam that rocked Koivu into the boards behind Hellebuyck. 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. A goal there could have sent the game in a completely different direction.

"Yeah", Hellebuyck said when asked if he was disappointed in not posting a shutout.

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Myers scored with 11:19 remaining in the second period, darting toward the net from the right side and sending a shot that Dubnyk didn't get a good read on. Then in the third period, Crosby scored twice on Flyers backup goaltender Petr Mrazek.

I have found it very interesting listening to the recaps and dialogue following the Wild's 3-2 loss in game one.

"I don't know if it was about pride", said Elliott. I think when we didn't get it behind them.

Boudreau: "I think all the matchups were hurting us tonight".

Hellebuyck made 16 saves. "I think we showed pieces of our game, but I don't think we played to our level".

But it wasn't just Game 1 that had to cause some concern for Flyers fans. While some have won titles after a few seasons (and the Chicago Fire even won a MLS title in their first season), most haven't even passed.500 in their first season, so what the Golden Knights have accomplished here stands out. The Wild have allowed 3.41 gpg on the road for the year, but Devan Dubnyk has a 2.61 GAA in his career in the postseason and a decent 2.75 GAA in his career against the Jets. Wilson blamed himself for costing Washington Game 1 by taking a bad penalty at a critical moment.

"It's not about proving anything", said Elliott. "That is what it's all about it". "We're going to do our best to make this a series and compete".

What happened was another Bruins goal on the ensuing power play that made it 5-1 in the first game between the bitter rivals. They became one of four WHA franchises to cross over to the National Hockey League in 1979-80, along with the Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques and Hartford Whalers. That remains to be seen.

This is where the Jets do their damage, and it's where they should be able to scare Minnesota on a nightly basis. That performance is a big reason things are even as the series shifts back to Philadelphia on Sunday.

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