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Posted On Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 3:10 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Monday, 04.07.2014 / 3:18 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 3:22 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 1:38 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 2:54 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 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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Posted On Sunday, 03.16.2014 / 3:50 PM

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

Jets without Pavelec, Montoya to start, against Stars

WINNIPEG -- The Dallas Stars have an opportunity to gain more ground on the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday at MTS Centre.

The Stars hold the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference in their bid to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2008. Dallas owns a six-point advantage on Winnipeg and two games in hand when they begin a three-game road trip this week.

"It seems like every game is desperation time for us [and] for [Winnipeg]," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said after the morning skate. "We realize as a team where [Winnipeg is] at, and I think they look at this game as do-or-die and a chance to move up against a team that is in a playoff spot."

The Stars expect to have center Cody Eakin back in the lineup. Eakin missed the Stars' 4-3 shootout loss at home against the Calgary Flames on Friday with a lower-body injury.

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Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 2:38 PM

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

Points key as Rangers, Jets look to end slumps

WINNIPEG -- The New York Rangers need points to tighten their grip on a Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the Eastern Conference spot while the Winnipeg Jets simply need points to remain in contention in the Western Conference.

The teams play at MTS Centre on Friday looking to halt recent skids.

The Rangers arrived after a 2-1 road loss against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday needing to improve on a 4-5-1 record in their past 10 games. This game will end a three-game road trip that is 0-2-0 so far.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.12.2014 / 2:08 PM

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

Jets host Canucks in battle of desperate teams

WINNIPEG -- Two desperate teams play Wednesday at MTS Centre when the Winnipeg Jets host the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks arrived Tuesday off a 7-4 home loss against the New York Islanders when they surrendered a 3-0 lead and allowed seven third-period goals.

The Canucks will not have any time to dwell on the loss when they attempt to stay in the Western Conference race for a wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Canucks and Jets sit at 68 points, six points behind the Dallas Stars for the second wild-card spot. The Jets hold a game in hand on the Canucks. The Phoenix Coyotes, who have 73 points, also separate the Canucks and Jets from Dallas.

The Canucks opted to not hold a morning skate Wednesday. Canucks forward Zack Kassian will serve the final of his three-game suspension for his hit on Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon on March 6.

A four-game losing streak (0-2-2) has put the Jets in a desperate situation and undone some of the progress of an 11-3-1 run after coach Paul Maurice replaced Claude Noel on Jan. 12.

"We need both points right now," center Bryan Little said of the Jets, who lost 3-2 in overtime Monday at the Colorado Avalanche. "The teams that we are chasing are playing well and winning games. You look at the standings and they're starting to get a bit of a gap on us. Every game is big and we need two points."

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Posted On Thursday, 03.06.2014 / 2:49 PM

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

Gaborik era for Kings begins against Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Marian Gaborik era starts Thursday for the Los Angeles Kings when they begin a three-game road trip against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Kings, who have won five games in a row, acquired Gaborik on Wednesday in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Matt Frattin, a second- or third-round pick in the 2014 or 2015 NHL Draft, and a conditional pick in either 2014 or 2015.

Gaborik, who had six goals and eight assists in 22 games with Columbus this season, arrived in Winnipeg and joined his new teammates for their morning skate at MTS Centre.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 2:41 PM

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

Amid trade rumors, Islanders set to face surging Jets

WINNIPEG -- Stuck in a 2-7-1 slide, the New York Islanders face the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday along with many trade rumors.

Defenseman Andrew MacDonald was traded Tuesday afternoon to the Philadelphia Flyers for a third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, a second-round pick in 2015 and center Matt Mangene.

Left wing Thomas Vanek may also be on the move leading into the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.

Though the Islanders have a game to play against the Jets, they have not been able to seal off their dressing room completely from the trade talk that is dominating television and radio as they begin their four-game journey through Western Canada this week.

"The bottom line is that you have to try not to think about it, it's really out of your control at this point," Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic said after the team's morning skate at MTS Centre. "If management is going to make a move, they're going to make a move. You try not to worry about it, but as a player it definitely looms over your head."

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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh