ST. LOUIS, Missouri - After setting a franchise record for road wins this past regular season with 22, the Winnipeg Jets will try to bring some of that success into the postseason in Game 3 against the St. Louis Blues.
In fact, the Jets have won eight of their last 10 meetings with the Blues inside Enterprise Center.
Sure, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are a bit of a different atmosphere, but the Jets are embracing the challenge as they try to cut into St. Louis' 2-0 series lead.
"We know the guys we have in this room. We've been tested together before and we typically play our best hockey under those circumstances," said captain Blake Wheeler. "It gives us a lot to lean on. These are the games you work for to play in. We're excited for the challenge."
Video: PREGAME | Mathieu Perreault
Jets head coach Paul Maurice hinted that the Jets line-up would look different than in Game 2, but his team didn't do any line rushes during the morning skate.
Patrik Laine was absent from the session but Maurice confirmed that Laine - who has scored in each of the first two games of the series - is good to go tonight.
Ditto for Mathieu Perreault, who missed Game 2 due to injury.
"It's unfortunate. It got bad to a point where I couldn't play," said Perreault. "But I took care of it and I felt good enough to get on the ice. I'm ready to go."
Connor Hellebuyck will get the start in goal for the Jets. Following the 4-3 loss in Game 2 when Hellebuyck made 28 saves, Maurice expects an even better performance from his starting goaltender tonight.
"That's really a great strength of his," said Maurice. "He gets a little burr in the saddle and usually puts up an 'A' game."
As a team, they gave up six high-danger scoring chances in Game 2 against the Blues - none of which came in the third period. The majority (five of them) came in the middle frame when the Blues were able to steal some momentum from the Jets.
In a series that has been this tight, any chance can be dangerous.
"The shots are 58-54, the two teams finished with 99 points. They've had three more power plays and it's one goal that has separated both games," said Maurice. "There will be stretches of each game, and they're almost from a minutes point of view - even on that too.
"If you're them, you like where it's at. It's a grinder and they like it tight. We're looking for a little step, a little edge in that where we can get out ahead on one and be on the right side."
Offensively, the Jets like the chances they're generating. They had 11 high-danger chances in Game 2, but that's not the end of the rink Wheeler wants to see his team focus on tonight.
"The last thing we're worried about is offence. We're going to score, always have," said Wheeler. "We have to try to limit the amount we're giving up and make it really tough for these guys to create offence. If we get our looks, we'll bury them."
Wheeler was one of the Jets to bury an offensive chance in Game 2. He knows it won't be just one player or line that will help the Jets get on the board in the series.
"We have to be cognizant of every little detail out there. Every guy has to be hard on every puck, try to win every single battle," said Wheeler. "When somebody makes a mistake, we need four guys to pick him up and clean up for him. It's what makes us a good team. We have to fight for every inch to get ourselves back in this one."
-- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
The Winnipeg Jets are on the road tonight for the first time in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as they visit the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round playoff series...The Jets lost the first two games at home, losing Game 1 on Wednesday 2-1 and Game 2 on Friday 4-3...Game 4 of the series is slated for Tuesday in St. Louis, while Game 5, if necessary, is scheduled for Thursday back in Winnipeg at Bell MTS Place.
The Jets lost the first two games of the series by one goal and are 1-10 all-time as a franchise in playoff games decided by one-goal...Winnipeg was 1-4 in one-goal games during their playoff run last season...During the regular season, the Jets went 19-7-5 in one-goal games, which was sixth-best in the NHL.
Third Period Tallies
The Jets are one of three teams in the playoffs that haven't scored a goal in the third period...Winnipeg finished fifth in the NHL during the regular season with 102 third-period goals, which was their most productive period.
Back in the Dance
The Jets are back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive season...It's the first time in franchise history that the Jets have reached the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and fourth time overall.
On the Road
The Jets went 22-18-1 on the road during the regular season, which set a franchise record for the most road wins in a season...Winnipeg went 4-2-1 in their last seven road games...The Jets won both games against the Blues in St. Louis during the regular season and are 8-2-0 in their past 10 games in St. Louis...Blake Wheeler led the Jets in scoring on the road during the regular season with 40 points (10G, 30A) in 41 games.
New Playoff Foe
This is the sixth playoff series in franchise history and the sixth time the Jets face a different opponent...The then-Atlanta Thrashers played the New York Rangers in 2006...The Jets made the playoffs for the first time after relocation in 2015 and met the Anaheim Ducks in the first round...Last season, Winnipeg played the Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights.
The Jets went 13-12-1 against Central Division teams during the regular season, which is their poorest divisional record since going 11-16-2 during the 2015-16 season...Winnipeg has been above .500 against their divisional foes in four of six seasons since moving to the Central Division...Winnipeg finished the season 4-7-1 in their last 12 games against Central Division teams and three of the four wins came against Nashville...Since the start of the 2016- 17 season, the Jets are 47-29-5 against Central Division teams, which is second in the NHL...In that same time frame, Blake Wheeler leads all NHLers in scoring against the Central Division with 98 points (28G, 70A) in 81 games, while Mark Scheifele has 90 points (37G, 53A) in 73 games.
VIEW FULL GAME NOTES
Jets head coach Paul Maurice is coaching in the postseason for the seventh time in his career...Maurice is 34-42 behind the bench in playoff games, with the highlight of his postseason success coming in 2002 when he coached the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup final...The nine playoff wins the Jets posted last season is the second most Maurice has had in a playoff run, next to the 2002 season.
Patrik Laine has scored in both games of the series so far...He has 15 goals in 14 career regular season and playoff games against St. Louis, including eight goals in six games this season...Laine set a franchise record with five goals against the Blues on Nov. 24...He has 11 goals in seven career games at Enterprise Center and has scored in six of the seven games.
Dustin Byfuglien is the only player on the Jets roster to score an overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and happened nearly a decade ago...Byfuglien did it during his time with the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks...The Jets franchise has never won a playoff game in overtime, going 0-2 thus far.
All-Time Playoff Appearance: 4th
Consecutive Playoff Appearance: 2
Most Recent Playoff Appearance: 2018 (FR: 4-1 W vs. MIN; SR: 4-3 W vs. NSH; CF: 4-1 L vs. VGK)
All-Time Playoff Record: 9-18 in 27 GP (2-3 in 5 series)
Game 7s: 1-0 (0-0 at home, 1-0 on road)
Overtime: 0-2 (0-1 at home, 0-1 on road)
Facing Elimination: 1-3 (0-2 at home, 1-1 on road)
With Chance to Clinch Series: 2-1 (1-1 at home, 1-0 on road)