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Conference Final

Jets hope to continue road success against Golden Knights in Game 3

Say 'it doesn't matter whatever city we play in'

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / Staff Writer

LAS VEGAS -- This is known as a party town, but when the Winnipeg Jets arrived Tuesday preparing to resume the Western Conference Final against the Vegas Golden Knights, they said their minds were strictly on the task at hand.

"We're here to win a hockey game," forward Mathieu Perreault said, "so we're going to go to bed early tonight for sure.

"This is a nice city. You guys have walked around and seen what it's like. But at this time of year, it's all business. We're here to win a Stanley Cup this year, so everybody's buying into that. It doesn't matter whatever city we play in."


[RELATED: Complete Jets vs. Golden Knights series coverage]


Vegas won 3-1 in Game 2 at Winnipeg on Monday, tying the best-of-7 series 1-1. Game 3 is at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS). 

The good news for the Jets is that they are 4-2 on the road in these playoffs, having won three times at the Nashville Predators in the second round, including Game 7. Road teams are 39-33 in these playoffs, and Jets coach Paul Maurice said he didn't have a great theory as to why. 

"It may well be parity more than anything else," said Maurice, whose team lost 5-2 at Vegas on Nov. 10. "There used to be a huge matchup advantage. Maybe it's the structure. I haven't done the math of the playoff format where you're getting pretty powerful teams lining up against each other early.

"Other than the fact that the kids that come into the game now have become used to big stages, big performances, loud buildings at a younger age, so maybe it doesn't faze them. But that's the best I've got."

Video: VGK@WPG, Gm2: Maurice on dropping Game 2 to Knights

In Game 2 Winnipeg allowed two goals to Vegas' top line of William Karlsson, Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault (both by Marchessault). The Jets will not be able to dictate the matchup as the road team in Games 3 and 4. 

"I thought in the Nashville series … about 10 minutes into [Game 1], we both kind of agreed we were fine with the matchup and hence we alternated wins," Maurice said. "It may well happen [against Vegas]."

The Jets, who are 9-5 in the playoffs, haven't lost back-to-back games in two months: They lost 2-1 at the Philadelphia Flyers on March 10, 3-2 in overtime at the Washington Capitals on March 12 and 3-1 at the Predators on March 13.

"We've bounced back after every loss we've had so far in the playoffs," Perreault said, "so it's no different for us tomorrow. It's just a huge game, so we'll have to bring our best.

"They are relentless. We knew they weren't going to just fold and let us take two at home. They battled hard. They played a hard game. So that's what we expected from them and now we've got ourselves a series."


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