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Posted On Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 2:33 PM

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

At the Rink: Predators at Jets

WINNIPEG – The Nashville Predators will continue their season-high six-game road trip Tuesday when they visit the Winnipeg Jets.

The Predators are 2-1-0 on the journey after a 3-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

"This [trip] came at a good time for us," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "Getting on the road can go either way. If you're winning and finding some success, then it can be a really positive experience. It can bring a team together, especially at the beginning of the year."

Laviolette will start goaltender Carter Hutton for the second time this season. Hutton lost a 2-1 overtime decision against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 18 in his only game to date. Hutton played 40 games last season for Nashville, going 20-11-4 with a 2.62 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.

Posted On Friday, 10.24.2014 / 2:40 PM

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

At the Rink: Lightning at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Tampa Bay Lightning begin to wind down a five-game road trip when they visit the Winnipeg Jets on Friday at MTS Centre.

The Lightning have had two days off after splitting two games in Alberta, a loss against the Edmonton Oilers followed by an overtime win against the Calgary Flames. After facing Winnipeg, the Lightning end their trip Saturday at the Minnesota Wild.

"We've still got a lot of work to do," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "Certain areas [of focus] have kind of slipped in certain periods of games, but for the most part I think we would have taken that at the beginning of the [season]. But we've got to finish off this road trip. It has been pretty good so far."

Posted On Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 2:39 PM

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

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The reinforcements are beginning to arrive for the Carolina Hurricanes, who continue a five-game road trip Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre.

Left wing Jeff Skinner will make his season debut for the Hurricanes after sustaining a concussion in the final preseason game, Oct. 5, and play on a line with center Victor Rask and right wing Elias Lindholm.

"I hope that I can help the guys get it done," Skinner said. "For me coming back, I'm just going to try to keep it simple. I think that as a team we've been getting better. Just keep building on the good things in our game and hopefully I can add to that. It's a big game because it could be the start of a big road trip for us."

Defenseman Andrej Sekera (upper body) will return to the lineup after a one-game absence that was the result of a collision Oct. 14 against the Buffalo Sabres.

"It's just good to get some guys back," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "Instead of calling up a guy from Charlotte [American Hockey League], we're able to put in a guy that is a proven 30-goal scorer."

Posted On Sunday, 10.19.2014 / 1:27 PM

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

At the Rink: Flames at Jets

WINNIPEG -- One goal in the past three games for the Winnipeg Jets means that coach Paul Maurice is shuffling his forward lines five games into the season when the Jets play the Calgary Flames at MTS Centre on Sunday.

Injuries and early-season attempts at line chemistry have also led Calgary coach Bob Hartley to tinker with his lineup when the Flames end a six-game road trip.

After the game Sunday, the Flames will have opened the season with six of their first seven games on the road, and a win against the Jets would make it a 4-2-0 journey.

Posted On Friday, 10.17.2014 / 2:45 PM

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

At the Rink: Predators at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets open their home schedule Friday against the Nashville Predators needing to re-establish dominance at MTS Centre.

Friday marks the start of a five-game homestand for the Jets, who have been outscored 7-1 in losing their past two games after they opened the season with a 6-2 win at the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 9.

Jets coach Paul Maurice offered a simple message for his players prior to the home-opener.

"Enjoy it," he said. "Get fired up. Use the crowd, for sure."

Home ice served the Jets well during the 2011-12 season, their first in Winnipeg, when they had a 23-13-5 record. But the Jets have a 31-27-7 home record the past two seasons, and their 18 home wins last season were the third-fewest in the NHL.

"Over the past couple of years we [have expected] more out of ourselves, and I think the fans expect more out of us," Jets center Bryan Little said. "I think there has been more pressure from the people of Winnipeg, but we put that on ourselves too. We know that the way we have been playing is not good enough. We're trying to take the next step."

Posted On Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 3:10 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins' Krejci back in vs. Jets, Bergeron likely to rest

WINNIPEG -- The Boston Bruins can move a step closer to their first Presidents' Trophy since the 1989-90 season when they meet the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at MTS Centre.

The Bruins have 114 points and lead the Anaheim Ducks by two. The Bruins, who begin a stretch of three games in four days, have a game in hand on the Ducks. With the Eastern Conference top seed clinched, the Bruins' next goal is to earn home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Center David Krejci will return to the lineup after having Tuesday off against the Minnesota Wild.

"I'm excited to play," Krejci said after the morning skate. "It was nice to get a little time off, but at the same time it's not fun to watch the game from the stands, the dressing room or [television]. I'm glad I'm back and looking forward to it."

Posted On Monday, 04.07.2014 / 3:18 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Wild expect fight from Jets; Byfuglien out for season

WINNIPEG -- The Minnesota Wild will look to move one step closer to a return visit to the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they visit the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

The Wild have 92 points and hold the Western Conference's first wild-card spot after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 at home Saturday. The game against the Jets will be the final road game of the season for the Wild, who are 4-1-2 in their past seven road games.

"Obviously we still need points," said Wild captain Mikko Koivu, who has four multi-point games in his past 10. "That's the most important thing, but it's also talking about the processing, getting our game better and getting better as a team. Our goal is to make the playoffs and be at our best when the playoffs start."

Posted On Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 3:22 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Martin back in Penguins lineup against Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will have defenseman Paul Martin back when they play the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at MTS Centre.

Martin has missed the Penguins' past 18 games with a broken hand and has not dressed for an NHL game since Feb. 7. He broke his hand playing for the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Injuries have hampered the 33-year-old, who missed 23 games earlier in the season with a broken tibia and has played 33 games this season. He has two goals and 10 assists.

"The doctors said that it was up to me," said Martin, who resumed practicing with his teammates this week. "I said I'm ready."

Posted On Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 1:38 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Byfuglien, Bogosian expected back for Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets will attempt to remain in contention for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at MTS Centre on Saturday.

The Hurricanes arrived early Saturday after a 3-2 road loss against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and did not conduct a morning skate. The game Saturday will mark the third time in the Jets' past four at home they have faced an opponent that played the night before. The Jets, who have not played since defeating the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 in overtime Wednesday, are 2-1-0 in those games.

Wrapping up a three-game road trip, the Hurricanes have fallen out of contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference, although they are still mathematically eligible to qualify. The Jets are six points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference; Phoenix owns a game in hand. After meeting Carolina, the Jets begin a five-game road trip next week against the Dallas Stars.

"We're excited to play," Jets defenseman Mark Stuart said after the morning skate. "We're excited for this last stretch. We want to end this homestand on the right note and have some momentum going into this trip. We've put ourselves in a position [to contend]. That's what is so fun about this time of year.

"This is the best time of the year. You're playing for something, and we're right in the hunt. We've got a lot of work to do, but that's what makes it fun, too. The challenge is there and I think we're up for it."

Posted On Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 2:54 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Pavelec, Byfuglien out for Jets against Avalanche

WINNIPEG -- The injury-plagued Winnipeg Jets will attempt to pull themselves back into contention for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they host the Colorado Avalanche at MTS Centre.

After a 6-3 road loss Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens, the Avalanche made the journey to Winnipeg. They did not hold a morning skate after arriving early Wednesday.

Colorado is 4-3-0 in the second game played on consecutive days, but the Jets don't see the Avalanche's schedule factoring too greatly into their matchup Wednesday night.

"You can't expect a team to be a little slower or a little tired when they have back-to-back games," said Jets center Bryan Little, whose team is 3-4-0 against teams playing for the second time in 24 hours.

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Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
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