Wild looking forward to home ice after dropping first two games in Winnipeg - InfoNews

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Wild looking forward to home ice after dropping first two games in Winnipeg

April 13, 2018 - 9:07 PM

WINNIPEG - The Minnesota Wild are hoping a change of scenery will jolt them back into their first-round playoff series.

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.

Minnesota was 27-6-8 at home during the regular season.

"We just go back home and know that we're a real good home team and make sure that we get the next one for sure," said Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who made 40 saves in Minnesota's 4-1 loss Friday and 77 saves total through the first two games. "I felt good tonight and we'll try and continue that going home."

Zach Parise had the lone goal for Minnesota on a power play with 45 seconds left. He said the Wild have to figure out how to use the entire ice to their advantage.

"We've gotta play a lot better than we have in the first two (games)," said Parise. "We gotta figure out a way to get some offensive zone time and I feel like we've been playing on three quarters of the rink for two games now.

"You're not going to win like that."

The Wild seemed to be holding on through much of the game before a three-goal third period by the Jets put it out of reach.

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.

"Well the message is simple: You've got to win four (games)," Boudreau said. "We are going home. Like other sports, you have to win one in the other team's building. Whether you get beat bad or whatever, you still have to win one and it doesn't matter if it's now, the fifth, or the seventh.

"We have to take care of business at home. That's all."

Third period goals from Winnipeg's Paul Stastny and Andrew Copp came just 1:42 apart, followed by Patrik Laine's second goal of the series with 2:02 remaining in the game.

Tyler Myers also scored for Winnipeg.

The Wild were held without a shot on goal through the opening 15 minutes of the third period.

"Being physical is one of our strong suits," said Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien. "We just want to play fast. Just be on the body. If the hits are there, take it."

Byfuglien dealt a handful of crushing blows Friday, highlighted by a second-period hit on Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu.

"He's a big man and he's going to hit people," Boudreau said of Byfuglien's physical presence. "If you're not looking, it's going to happen.

"I thought they were physical the whole game. They never let up right until the final whistle."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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