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.
The win gave the Jets a 2-0 lead in the first round of their NHL Western Conference best-of-seven playoff series.
"There's a lot of inexperience out there, and they're only going to get better by playing", coach Bruce Boudreau said of a blue line that took a major hit when Suter, a 13-year veteran and the guy who has held the Wild defense together the past six seasons, broke an ankle in a March 31 game.
"We've had quite a few players out for quite a while here".
Elliott was pulled midway through the second period in Game 1 after giving up five goals on just 19 shots.
Thursday Evening: Transition day tomorrow; Severe weather possible Saturday morning
Up to 2 1/2 inches of rain are possible , and a flash flood watch has been instituted for the region for Saturday . A wicked late winter storm will be moving through Northcentral Wisconsin over the next three days.
Hellebuyck needed only 16 saves.
Winnipeg outshot Minnesota 31-8 over the final 40 minutes (44-17 overall) and finally got some pucks past Wild netminder Devan Dubnyk. Myers and Laine also added assists with Jack Rosolovic logging a pair of helpers to make a victor of Connor Hellebuyck and his 16 saves.
Politely censoring himself, Wheeler described the first game - won 3-2 by his Jets - as "a cluster..."
Make no mistake, the Wild's back end has its flaws.
"We stuck up for each other", Wild centre Eric Staal said.
Santoliquito: Sydney Crosby And The Penguins Embarrass The Flyers
The timing, placement, and angle of his stick to make that happen with the puck heading directly at him like that is remarkable. That being said, The Golden Knights have players who have won Stanley Cups , so it's not like they have no experience at all .
"Said it coming in, nobody is really giving us a serious chance in this series", Hakstol said. It's just the way we can bounce back and get a tying goal and then right after that, get the game-winning goal. When asked if Economic Development Winnipeg might also host parties when the Jets play away, Schaubroeck said they're not looking at that possibility yet but nothing is off the table. They had five shots on goal at the five-minute mark of the first period and 12 more the rest of the way. That made the Wild 1-for-4 on power plays. The seventh-seeded Wild had the Jets, who had the second best regular-season record in the National Hockey League this year, on their heels and had sucked most of the air out of Bell MTS Place, until the error.
Jared Spurgeon returned last game and looked pretty good considering he had not played in a month.
The first came on a turnover from Matt Dumba, which led to the game-tying goal from Jets winger Patrik Laine on Wednesday night, April 11. 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. Too deep, and just too much, these Jets appear to be for the boys from Minny.
Stastny and Copp scored 1:42 apart, with Byfuglien sending a backhander to the front of the net that Statsny slapped in at 7:42. Copp's goal came on Winnipeg's 35th shot of the game. Hoffren's story on Laine scoring his first playoff goal in Game 1 was the No. 1 item on the website for much of the day on Thursday. For good measure, Byfuglien made a great play down low to set up Paul Stastny for the Jets second goal, which turned out to be the victor.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story.
Warm temperatures at last, but more rain could follow this weekend
Lighter amounts of snow are forecast for the Omaha area, where forecasters expect about an inch of snow to fall. Wet slushy roads will come wet and icy Thursday night into Friday morning for valleys and mountain passes.
Minnesota did look risky in the first five minutes of the game, firing the first five shots.
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