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This article was published 17/4/2015 (1159 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — With still no word if or when injured left-winger Mathieu Perreault might join the series, the Winnipeg Jets went about their business on today’s off-day professing more happiness with their Game 1 than many might expect.
Perreault, by the way, did skate with the fourth-line and depth players today at Honda Center. He missed Game 1, a 4-2 win by the Anaheim Ducks, and Jets coach Paul Maurice gave no indication what, if any progress Perreault might be making.
Maurice said he had few issues with his team’s play in the opener, including the 10 players in his lineup that hadn’t played a Stanley Cup playoff game prior to Thursday.
"But it’s a story and it’s a good story," the coach said after giving most of his regulars the day off the ice. "The result of the game wasn’t hinged on experience. We came out right and we came out for a young team and played very well and I was really happy with that and now the series is on.
"I have a less difficult time keeping the one loss in perspective than maybe other people will. But you’ve got to write stories. I understand that.
"We played well. It was a tight game. We’ve got some things we can do better and I’m sure they’ll say the same thing."
Jets right-winger Blake Wheeler tossed some cold water back at reporters wondering today if he and some of the Jets’ top guns ought to step up their game.
"I think we put that on ourselves every game," Wheeler said. "That’s not because of their players. They got a couple of bounces last game. It’s the way we approach every game. Would we like to go out there and put a couple in the net? Obviously.
"But our approach isn’t going to change. If we get a couple go off a skate, or get a good bounce go our way, that would be welcome."
Wheeler hit a post in the second period, a chance the could have extended a 2-1 Winnipeg lead.
"I thought there were moments in that game to extend the lead," Wheeler said. "The majority of the game was pretty good. We got into penalty trouble and they capitalized on some of the bounces. That’s the way it goes. You can’t get wrapped up in the final score, the way the game ended. The bulk of that game we felt pretty good."
That penalty business led to the Ducks going two-for-three on the power play, and it was the difference in the contest.
"Well, for one we can be more disciplined," Jets defenceman Tyler Myers said, asked about priorities for Saturday’s Game 2 here. "They capitalized on their power plays last night when we didn’t. Ultimately that decided the game."
Wheeler hemmed and hawed about priorities for Game 2, but eventually arrived at the penalties.
"I don’t think there’s any glaring needs," he said. "You look at 40 minutes of that game — we go into the dressing room up 2-1. Things were looking good for us but we got into penalty trouble. So I think that would be an area to start, to stay out of the box a little bit especially in the third period.
"But more or less play the way we played getting here. That’s going to give us a shot tomorrow night."
The series featured 83 hits in Game 1.
"I think it stays through the whole series, in part because both teams were built to do that," Maurice said.
The Jets coach was in a cantankerous and amusing mood at times today.
Witness this answer to a question about Ducks defenceman Sami Vatanen, who had a three-point game.
"He’s really good," Maurice said, employing some sarcasm here and there. "I love coming here and talking about how good those guys are. Moves the puck well, gets the puck to the net. You saw it on the first goal. They have a number of guys that can skate and move the puck well ... so he’s a challenge to find on the way up the ice with his skillset and lots of poise at the blueline. Probably should be a Norris Trophy candidate. I hear he’s an all-round great guy. And Bruce (Boudreau) is a good guy, too. I love those guys."