Jets Pound Wild in Whiteout Condition, Take 2-0 Series Lead

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"It's obviously very positive, everything that has gone on this year, winning the Pacific Division", reflected Golden Knights head coach and Summerside native Gerard (Turk) Gallant in a phone interview with the Journal Pioneer. The Jets are 41-12 in their last 53 home games, 1-8 in their last 9 Conference Quarterfinals games and 35-16 in their last 51 overall. Gallant admitted the Golden Knights have exceeded expectations in Year 1.

"For the most part we are going to do what we did all season out there, take the pressure off our players, just go out there, play and see what happens", said Gallant, who added the Golden Knights were close to having everyone available for the playoffs, in a phone interview with the Journal Pioneer during the final weekend of the regular season. "We've got to play good once, and we've got to have that on Monday". It wasn't like the old-time expansion teams.

"We have to play our absolute best", Boudreau said. "It was a lot of fun". "They've been unreal for us throughout the first two games here".

"Definitely", answered Gallant, who reached the milestone of 200 career coaching wins in the National Hockey League earlier this season. It has lost three straight games only once this season, with consecutive losses to Chicago (at home) and at Boston and Toronto in early November. "We'll do our best to get this third game and go from there".

The Wild are not a one line team, and as long as Staal and Granlund are separated they will continue to have a more balanced approach.

William Karlsson was top point-getter in regular season - 78 points. Kucherov, Tampa Bay's leading scorer this season, has 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 47 career playoff games. At 19 years, 100 days, he became the youngest player in franchise history to score a playoff goal.

Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and James Neal all scored six power-play goals.

Though Jared Spurgeon is still considered a game-time decision, it looks as if the valuable Wild defenseman is going to suit up for Game 1.

Through two games in the series, shots on goal in the third period alone are 36-7 Winnipeg.

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The Devils have played well in spurts, overcoming slow starts to keep both games interesting.

"I thought Cory came in and played really well", Hynes said.

"That was the flawless weekend for us".

"He's a big guy and he's going to hit people", Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Gallant, who enjoyed a very solid playing career, has been lauded for is his willingness to play four lines regularly, and trust his players.

"If there's one thing I've learned this week though, it's that there's certainly no option off-the-table as we try to figure out how to do this".

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the team that wins the first two games at home in a best-of-seven series goes on to win the series 88.7 per cent of the time.

"One night it's the goaltending, the next night it's the defence scoring some big goals and we have a lot of depth through our forward crew".

Evgeny Kuznetsov did everything in his power to ensure that the Capitals didn't let this one slip away with his two goals, but it was too little, too late, as anxious Capitals fans wonder if this is yet another snakebitten postseason for their team.

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