ST. PAUL — The Wild held a two-goal lead on the Winnipeg Jets in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Sunday night at Xcel Energy Center when Jordan Greenway was finally rewarded for his solid play in the series.
Greenway, playing on the third line with Matt Cullen and Charlie Coyle, got the puck in the high slot and let go with a shot that beat Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck at the 15-minute mark of the second period for a 5-2 lead that would be extended by another goal before the horn sounded.
The Wild’s 6-2 victory was their first of the series and means they are in position to tie it with a victory in Game 4 on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Greenway’s goal marked his first in the NHL since joining the Wild in late March after his collegiate season at Boston University came to an end in the NCAA tournament. Greenway, who had 13 goals and 22 assists in 36 games as a junior at BU this season, had one assist in six regular-season games with Minnesota and now has a goal and an assist in three playoff games.
“He’s playing well,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It really bodes well for the future here. I mean it’s like your trade acquisition. Trade deadline day (pick up) without making a trade and he’s really shown that was a good move on our part.”
A second-round choice in 2015 by the Wild, Greenway is 6-foot-6, 226 pounds and provides the type of skill and physical ability the Wild need against a bigger team like the Jets. “I like a physical game,” said Greenway, who was credited with two hits Sunday. “Having the body to be a little bit bigger, it helps out a lot. Even if it’s not physical initially, I try to initiate the contact. Have it start out like this is really good for my game.”
Getting his first goal will give Greenway added confidence and removes the concern of wondering when that milestone will come.
“You only get your first NHL goal one time,” he said. “It was exciting. All the guys have been helping me out trying to get me my first one. So it’s good to have the support behind me. Things were going our way tonight. We did a lot of good things so I just kind of went to the net and the puck found me.”