Wilson was suspended two preseason games for interference and then for the first four regular-season games for boarding but had cleaned up his game since.
Midway through the game, former Calder Trophy victor, defenceman Tyler Myers walked around Minny's Jason Zucker, before shifting his way directly to the Wild cage, and burying a quick snapshot past the near-unbeatable Devan Dubnyk.
Minnesota's Mat Dumba, Head Coach Bruce Boudreau's chosen replacement for injured defensive stalemate Ryan Suter, spent an astonishing 9:35 on the ice in the opening frame for the visitors - a benchmark just shy of two minutes more than the Jets' icetime leader, Ben Chiarot. "We count on him".
The Jets continue to explore uncharted territory.
"It was nice to get that first win out of the way".
"Going into the one in 2015", said Jets centre Adam Lowry, "we were scratching and clawing just to get into the playoffs". It was just like the city - happy to be there. "Just trying to get the breath back and the wind back. Four games straight. We're going for it", said Curtis Stewart, a hardcore jets fan who dressed in a white full-body suit tagged with Jets logos. "I've had very young teams that have done really good, and I've had really experienced teams that have sort of failed in the first round".
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One thing that could give his team a slight advantage in the series is the fact that the Wild enter with a combined 748 games of postseason experience on the roster and the Jets have 282. "That's the style we want to play". It was not only the skill on attack, but the physical side on defence.
This Winnipeg defense is formidable but not invincible, as evidenced by the two goals the Wild managed Wednesday. The crowd was arguably louder. Not sure what the blue-liner was doing behind the Wild net, but it was a great play nonetheless. "Hopefully, we can control that tonight with a couple of goals". By the time the Wild went into the messaging sending business, Jets fans were celebrating and serenading the Wild to the tune of, "Nananana, hey, hey, hey goodbye". At the 8:41 mark of the second period, lanky Jets defenceman Tyler Myers twisted his way in from the blueline and pinged a shot from the right circle in off the far post that Dubnyk could not prevent.
Carrier, Kempny, Wennberg and Wingels are all day-to-day with "upper-body" injuries - the customarily vague description in the National Hockey League - with their statuses legitimately uncertain moving forward. "But you know what, we got the win and that's all I care about, especially this time of year. It's a beast of its own".
That was only the beginning, though, and in the third period, the Jets started to pull away with a trio of goals from center Paul Stastny, winger Andrew Copp, and winger Patrik Laine.
Copp made it 3-0 at 9:24 when he redirected in Bryan Little's shot. That could present a hard matchup for the Jets and just may deliver a goal or two for the Wild, who knows. That included three shots at Hellebuyck during a power play with Myers in the box for tripping.
Little had said earlier in the day that he hoped his team could go up two-games-to-none against the more-experienced Wild.