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Jets' Byfuglien has little to say heading to Game 4

by Arpon Basu /

WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien didn't feel like saying much to the media Tuesday.

Byfuglien, a minus-3 in Winnipeg's overtime Game 3 loss, did speak to reporters a day before the Jets play Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday looking to avoid being swept out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (9:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports, FS-W).

Byfuglien answered every question with a version of, "As long as we stick together as a team we'll be all right."

Jets coach Paul Maurice said he had no problem with that.

"He came out and has the right to say what he wants to you, and I'm jealous," Maurice said. "I'm going to be honest with you. I'd love to be able to come up and have one of those days.

"… I'm glad he came out and did what he did. It's not perfect and sometimes things aren't right. But that's Dustin, and we love him."

Byfuglien was on the ice for three of the Ducks' five goals in their 5-4 overtime win Monday and took a penalty when he hit forward Corey Perry from behind right after he scored in the second period to give Anaheim a 2-1 lead.

Maurice on Tuesday defended Byfuglien's performance in Game 3.

"Well, it gets magnified [Monday] night because of the minus number that he had attached to that game and the penalty that he took," Maurice said. "As great an individual player as he is, it's still a five man on the ice game. So our expectations of him are to move that puck, close out in his own end, and for the most part he's been able to do that up until last night.

"But at the end of the day he wasn't standing beside the guy who put [the tying goal late in the third period] into the net, so you want to be a little careful before you take the stat sheet and decide on his game. The penalty, he can't take. He's been like the rest of us, there's been good parts to his game and parts he needs to be better at."

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