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From the Rink: Wild must weather early storm in Winnipeg

Jets are NHL's best first-period team and are 7-2-1 on home ice this season

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

WINNIPEG -- Every time the Wild and Winnipeg Jets play, one thing can almost always be counted on: It's going to be a one-goal game either way.

Each of the past four games between the teams, including both tilts this season have been decided by one, with the Jets coming out on top in three of those games (including both in 2017-18). Minnesota won the first two matchups last season by two goals, although each of those contests were within one into the final two minutes of regulation.

Count those as one-goal games and that streak goes to seven. The last time one of these teams scored a decisive victory was a 5-1 Jets win here in April of 2016.

Video: Wild pregame vs Jets

"I feel like it's always tough games against these guys," said Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin. "It's going to be a tight game and it's an important game too, because it's our division and we have to be ready from the start."

Another thing that can always be counted on here in southern Manitoba is that the home team will come out firing. It seems any team that ventures into Bell MTS Place must be ready to withstand a heavy push by the Jets out of the gate. 

That was certainly the case last month when the Wild and Jets played here. Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers scored goals 1:42 apart midway through the first to stake Winnipeg to a 2-0 lead. 

Minnesota rallied for the next three goals to take a one-goal lead in the second, but the Jets tied the game late in the middle frame and won 4-3 on a Blake Wheeler goal with under seven minutes to play.

Video: Bruce Boudreau pregame at Jets

Winnipeg's 30 first-period goals are the most in the NHL. The Jets have scored 42 goals in the second and third periods combined this season.

"They're a good first-period team and they play well here," said Wild forward Charlie Coyle. "It's always a tough road building to play in. [We need to] come out and get to our game as quickly as we can. 

"It's not going to be pretty, it's not going to be perfect, and they're going to have a strong push in the first. We weather that storm and come back, get to our game and play at our level, I think we'll be fine."

The Wild made a roster move on Monday afternoon, recalling defenseman Ryan Murphy from Iowa of the American Hockey League.

Tweet from @mnwild: NEWS: #mnwild has recalled defenseman Ryan Murphy from @iawild per the @totallimo I-35 Report ���

Signed by the Wild on July 1, Murphy has one goal and 10 assists in 18 games with Iowa this season.

Alex Stalock will start in goal. 

Here are the projected lineups:


Tyler Ennis - Eric Staal - Nino Niederreiter

Daniel Winnik - Mikko Koivu - Mikael Granlund

Jason Zucker - Charlie Coyle - Zack Mitchell

Marcus Foligno - Matt Cullen - Chris Stewart

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Matt Dumba

Gustav Olofsson - Ryan Murphy

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk


Kyle Connor - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler 

Nikolaj Ehlers - Bryan Little - Patrik Laine

Andrew Copp - Adam Lowry - Brandon Tanev 

Mathieu Perreault - Matt Hendricks - Joel Armia

Josh Morrissey - Jacob Trouba 

Ben Chiarot - Dustin Byfuglien 

Dmitry Kulikov - Tyler Myers

Connor Hellebuyck

Eric Comrie

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