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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 2:50 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flyers at Jets

WINNIPEG -- Veteran goaltender Rob Zepp will make his NHL debut at age 33 for the Philadelphia Flyers when they visit the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.

A fourth-round pick by Carolina Hurricanes in the 2001 NHL Draft, Zepp signed with Philadelphia last summer after spending the past six seasons with Eisbaeren Berlin of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Before this season, Zepp had not played in North America since the 2004-05 season.

The Flyers recalled Zepp on Friday from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League after Steve Mason sustained an upper-body injury at practice. Mason will be re-evaluated Monday.

Zepp went 8-5-4 in 17 games with Lehigh Valley this season with a 2.70 goals-against average and.918 save percentage.

Posted On Friday, 12.19.2014 / 6:50 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Bruins at Jets

WINNIPEG -- Veteran NHL defenseman Jay Harrison will be in the lineup for the Winnipeg Jets when they host the Boston Bruins on Friday.

After losing their top four defensemen to long-term injuries in the past three weeks, the Jets acquired the 32-year-old from the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday in a trade for a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft that originally belonged to the Ottawa Senators.

Harrison joins a blue line that is missing Zach Bogosian, Toby Enstrom and Mark Stuart each to a lower-body injury, and Jacob Trouba (upper body).

Harrison arrived after the morning skate and will play the left side of a pairing with Grant Clitsome. In 20 games with Carolina this season, Harrison had a goal and three assists.

"I hope to provide some stability on the back [end]," Harrison said. "A puck-moving, physical defenseman, as well as some leadership to get us over the hump [until] we get some of those regular guys back and to continue to move forward and to maintain the success that has been part of this team this season."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 2:58 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres at Jets

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets will be missing another key piece of their defense when they play the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

The Jets announced after the morning skate Tuesday that second-year defenseman Jacob Trouba will be out until February with an unspecified upper-body injury. Jets coach Paul Maurice called Trouba's injury "a pre-existing condition that most players deal with."

Trouba did not practice Monday, something that Maurice said at the time was a maintenance day. Maurice also said that Trouba was "probable" for the game Tuesday.

Winnipeg's defense is also missing Zach Bogosian and Toby Enstrom with lower-body injuries.

However, the Jets will have one defenseman back in their lineup. Grant Clitsome, who has not played since Nov. 28 because of an unspecified injury, will dress Tuesday.

Posted On Saturday, 12.13.2014 / 1:47 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Ducks at Jets

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets will have left wing Evander Kane back in their lineup when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

Kane served a two-game suspension this week for his hit from behind on Anaheim defenseman Clayton Stoner at MTS Centre on Dec. 7. The suspension was the first of Kane’s career.

Kane, who has four goals this season, will skate with center Adam Lowry and right wing Matt Halischuk against the Ducks, who won their sixth consecutive game 4-2 against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

Posted On Friday, 12.05.2014 / 1:51 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets will have a new look on defense when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

Coach Paul Maurice disclosed three significant injuries to the Winnipeg defense corps after practice Thursday that included the team's top pairing.

Defenseman Zach Bogosian (lower body) will be out 4-6 weeks and was placed on injured reserve. It is thought that Bogosian injured his foot blocking a shot in the Jets' 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

Toby Enstrom, Bogosian's partner on the Jets' top pairing, already had missed the past four games with a lower-body injury before Maurice announced that he will be out until the end of December.

Defenseman Grant Clitsome (undisclosed) also did not dress for the game Wednesday and will be out for a minimum of two weeks, according to Maurice.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 2:29 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Oilers at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Edmonton Oilers will attempt to grab their first win in 11 games Wednesday when they visit the Winnipeg Jets.

The Oilers have not won since Nov. 9, going 0-7-3 in that span. Coach Dallas Eakins unveiled a new look to the lineup for Wednesday in an attempt to shake up his dressing room.

Right wing Tyler Pitlick, who played his first NHL game of the season Monday in a 5-2 home loss against the Arizona Coyotes, will move to Edmonton's top line, with left wing Taylor Hall and center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

"[Pitlick] brought a lot of what we need right now," Eakins said after the Edmonton morning skate. "We've been asking our forwards to play a grittier game, a get-to-the-net game, and we've restructured the lines a little bit [and] we think will help us in a number of different ways."

Posted On Sunday, 11.23.2014 / 4:33 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Jets

WINNIPEG – The St. Louis Blues will have an unlikely addition to their injury list when they finish their four-game road trip against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.

Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will miss the game with a lower-body injury sustained in a 3-2 road win against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Bouwmeester did not skate in the pregame warm-up at MTS Centre and his streak of 737 consecutive games played will end.

Bouwmeester had not missed a game since the 2003-04 season when he was with the Florida Panthers.

Posted On Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 2:26 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Red Wings at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Detroit Red Wings will have a bit of a new look to their roster when they visit the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

Before the morning skate Thursday, the Red Wings lost center Andrej Nestrasil on waivers to the Carolina Hurricanes. The 23-year-old center had two assists in 13 games with Detroit this season, but the Red Wings placed him on waivers Wednesday after making him a healthy scratch in five of the past eight games.

"I'm not certain, but I heard that there was a whole bunch of teams that tried to claim him," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "[Nestrasil] is a great kid. I wish him well. If he can fit in and help [Carolina] and play every night, that's really good for him."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 2:20 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Devils at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets return home for a visit from the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, and the teams will have crucial lineup decisions to make.

The status of Devils center Adam Henrique (lower body) and Jets center Mark Scheifele (knee) remain murky, but each player skated Tuesday and is likely to dress for the game.

The Devils had an optional morning skate Tuesday, but Henrique, who has missed six consecutive games, participated. He has not played since Nov. 4. To accommodate Henrique’s possible return, right wing Jordin Tootoo likely will be a healthy scratch against Winnipeg as the Devils begin a four-game road trip.

"I feel good," Henrique said after the morning skate. "Hopefully I play [Tuesday]. It will just be a game-time decision. But I feel good. It's the best that I've felt in the past week the last couple of days. We'll make the decision [Tuesday] and go from there."

Posted On Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 2:17 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Jets

WINNIPEG --The top question for the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday will be how to stop the Pittsburgh Penguins power play.

The Penguins have won five consecutive games and have the NHL's best power play. Pittsburgh is 41.3 percent with the man advantage and 42.9 percent on the road. The Penguins have scored power-play goals in their past five games, going 11-for 24.

Adding to the equation will be the Jets' tendency toward penalty trouble this season. Winnipeg has allowed the third-most power plays in the League this season. The Jets are tied for fourth on the penalty kill and have not allowed a power-play goal in their past four games (12-for-12), but the message inside the dressing room Thursday was to avoid the penalty box.

"We [must avoid] penalties," Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian said. "Penalties happen, but the best way to kill penalties is to not take them."

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We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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