The Wild are heading back to Minnesota - for Game 3 Sunday and Game 4 on Tuesday - trailing 2-0 in the best-of-seven series after losing the first two games to the Jets in Winnipeg. It took a couple of periods for the hockey to break out.
Saturday's practice included a lot of work on play through the neutral zone, a problem in Games 1 and 2. Friday's full schedule Jonathan Quick's stellar play lets the Kings tie it up at oneThe Kings could find themselves in a far worse spot in this game if it weren't for Jonathan Quick.
"Minnesota, it's nearly like a Canadian market there", said Stastny, who had a goal on Friday night. Less than two minutes later, the Wild turned the puck over, which led to a Bryan Little cross-ice pass to Andrew Copp to put the Jets up by three. At 19 years, 100 days, he became the youngest player in franchise history to score a playoff goal. Who's going to win Friday's games? "But ideal doesn't happen very often". Until the 14:47 mark in the first period of Game 2. Their charter was diverted to Duluth in the early afternoon, and eventually they returned to Winnipeg.
Still, the Wild know they can't rest on their laurels simply because they're at home, especially with the way the Jets have been playing to this point.
Despite Friday's loss, in which Minnesota appeared outmatched in both speed and physicality, Bruce Boudreau wasn't ready to give up on his team. "We count on him".
So to say Jets fans have gone through hard times, is an understatement. They cannot give the Penguins four power plays every game or get outshot by a 35-20 margin and expect to win many games by four goals. "It's special to get a start, it's special to get starts in the playoffs and carry a team and try to be the block in the wall behind them. They still have to win two more to put us out, and we're going to battle on home ice to get that back". It was the first time.More news: What to know ahead of Sunday's severe weather — FIRST ALERT DAY
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But even if weather predictions were looking a bit grim, Smith's prediction for Game 3 is anything but. "I don't know about the weather", he said.
Minnesota was 27-6-8 at home during the regular season. "But it's not like losing, getting down 0-2 in your own building and then having to go to their building". Like in the closing seconds of the second period Crosby was standing by himself alongside a wide open net and inexplicably fired it through the other side of the crease, completing missing a chance to get the Penguins on the board. How do you handle it? "Too little, too late, but I think we showed fight", Schneider said.
That new confidence was shockingly apparent in the second period, when the Jets completely took over the game.
Acquired from the St. Louis Blues before the trade deadline, Stastny is competing in his fifth career playoff series against the Wild.
The crowd, already the loudest in the league, cranked up the sound.