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First Round

Jets comfortable playing Game 3 against Blues on road

Remain confident despite beginning series with back-to-back losses at home

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets might trail the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference First Round, but themes of belief and determination were commonplace Saturday with the series shifting to St. Louis for Game 3.

The Jets lost 4-3 on Friday at home after a 2-1 loss there in Game 1. Winnipeg heads to St. Louis with the feeling that Game 3 on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, SN, TVAS2, FS-MW) is a pivotal moment in the best-of-7 series.

"Obviously, it feels like tomorrow is a must-win game, but I don't think we need to reinvent the wheel here," Jets forward Andrew Copp said Saturday. "The team that handles the adversity, sticks together and pushes through is going to be the winner."

 

[RELATED: Complete Jets vs. Blues series coverage]

 

The Jets are taking some solace in the fact that each loss was by one goal, as well as from the fact that the Washington Capitals' road to the Stanley Cup last season started with a loss in each of their first two games.

"The Cup champs last year were in the same spot we're in right now," Copp said. "I don't think anyone's unpacking their locker or anything like that. There's a lot of belief. Two really tight games that could have gone either way. We're not in the spot we want to be, but we're not down and out yet."

Teams that win the first two games of a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series have a series record of 318-50 (86.4 percent); they are 241-30 (88.9 percent) when those wins come at home and 72-20 (78.3 percent) when they come on the road.

The odds are stacked against Winnipeg. Jets coach Paul Maurice is 0-3 with team that begins a series 0-2.

"There's usually a reason that a team goes down 0-2," Maurice said. "It's that one team's a hell of a lot better than the other, and that's why the series gets finished."

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But Maurice said he doesn't feel this series is characterized by that.

"I look at these as two 99-point teams that are both real good and both real tight," he said. "It's almost the flip of a coin. And the third flip, there's no bearing on the first two. So you go out there and battle. And most important you keep that belief and that energy that you are right there, that you're in these games. And then you give yourself a chance."

The Jets were 22-18-1 away from Bell MTS Place this season, setting a Jets/Atlanta Thrashers record for road wins (the previous record was 20, set last season), and were 2-0-0 at Enterprise Center. The Jets were 4-4 on the road in last year's playoffs, including a Game 7 win at the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Second Round.

"At this point, I think it might be good for us to get on the road," Winnipeg forward Bryan Little said. "We've won some big games on the road, and especially last year in the playoffs, we won some big road games. So going into [Enterprise Center] doesn't scare us."

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