Dustin Byfuglien – one of their best players and one of the biggest reasons they even made the postseason – foolishly punching the Anaheim Ducks’ Corey Perry after a key goal against, taking a bad penalty at a bad time to force his team shorthanded while they were already reeling.
Down 2-0 in the series, Winnipeg had to have this game against the top team in the West.
In part due to plays like that, they didn’t get it.
We’re not quite ready to write off the Jets. A Winnipeg win tomorrow and all of a sudden the Ducks will be feeling some pressure to take care of business at home in Game 5.
But considering the Jets went into the playoffs with people questioning 1) team discipline and 2) Byfuglien’s leadership, it’s interesting how things have played out.
In the first two games, Anaheim scored three power-play goals.
The Winnipeg Jets lost Dustin Byfuglien in their postseason push thanks to the hybrid player’s errors of judgment. They might lose him in the playoffs for a similarly questionable decision.
It wasn’t “Dale Hunter on Pierre Turgeon” bad, yet many evoked the notorious moment in postseason history after seeing Byfuglien take down Corey Perry after the Anaheim Ducks scored a 2-1 goal:
The infraction draw a two-minute roughing penalty, yet one cannot help but wonder if supplemental discipline may come for Big Byfuglien. Even if it ends with that minor penalty, it’s another bit of evidence that Byfuglien may want to keep a cooler head.
Apparently it’s just been that kind of night, too.
Buff has been awful tonight. Chasing high to nowhere on both Ducks goals, chasing from behind on that penalty and dumb penalty on Perry.
A quick look at what games will be on what channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action…
Red Wings at Lightning 3 p.m. ET on NBC/NBCSN
The Lightning will look to even their best of seven series with the Red Wings tonight and snap a six-game playoff losing streak in the process. Tampa out-shot Detroit 46-14 in Game 1, but could not solve Petr Mrazek falling 3-2 on Thursday night. John Forslund and Andy Brickley have the call of Game 2.
Wild at Blues 3 p.m. ET on NBC/NBCSN
The St. Louis Blues have won just one of 19 playoff series when losing both Games 1 and 2, and have been swept 10 times. They’ll look to even the best of seven with the Minnesota Wild this afternoon following a 4-2 loss in Game 1 on Thursday. An area of concern for the Blues is their power play. St. Louis is 4-for-67 with the man advantage in its last 18 playoff games. Dave Strader and Brian Engblom will be on the call.
Penguins at Rangers 8 p.m. ET on NBC
The New York Rangers are 22-6 in series when winning Game 1 on home ice and will look to take a 2-0 stranglehold on their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight following a 2-1 victory on Thursday. The Rangers are looking for a fifth straight playoff victory against the Penguins. New York fell behind 3-1 in last spring’s second round series, but won three straight to advance to the Eastern Conference final. Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire have the call tonight.
Jets at Ducks 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
The Winnipeg Jets will look to contain Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf as they try to even their best of seven series with the Anaheim Ducks. Perry and Getzlaf combined for three goals and four assists in the Ducks 4-2 come from behind win in Game 1. The Jets enter tonight’s action still looking for their first playoff win since moving to Winnipeg from Atlanta. Dave Randorf, Garry Galley and Cassie Campbell-Pascall will be on the call.
The Anaheim Ducks got their opportunities and made the most of them in the third period, with Corey Perry completing a four-point night in a Game 1 win against the Winnipeg Jets.
Penalties and discipline had been an issue for the Jets throughout the season, having finished with the second highest amount of penalty minutes behind only Pittsburgh. They were also short-handed a league high 308 times during the regular season.
On Thursday, with both teams combining for 83 hits, the Jets were penalized four times going back to the final minute of the second period — one call did come at the end of the game — and surrendered two power play goals to the Ducks, with Perry and Ryan Getzlaf scoring to help the Ducks to a 4-2 win.
“It was a tough, hard-fought battle. I think definitely had a chance being up. I think we got in a little bit of penalty trouble and it’s just something that for the next game, we need to make sure we continue to bring that physical battle but make sure it’s between the whistles,” said Drew Stafford, as per video on the Jets’ website.
“We don’t want to give their skilled guys any extra chance like we did.”
In addition to Perry’s four-point night, Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, and Sami Vatanen also had a three-point night.