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At the Rink blog

Jets limp home to face Panthers, with PK a focus

Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:50 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Jets limp home to face Panthers, with PK a focus

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Normally a midwinter trip that includes a stop in Florida is a welcome time for the Winnipeg Jets, but last week's three-game road trip left them limping home.

The Jets (3-4-1) dropped all three games, including a defeat last Thursday to the Florida Panthers, who visit MTS Centre for a Tuesday evening date. The penalty kill, a source of many of Winnipeg's defensive problems last season, has again become a major issue for coach Claude Noel and his club. Winnipeg has surrendered goals on eight of its past 16 shorthanded situations, and the Jets rank last in the League on the penalty kill.

Noel said defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will miss his third consecutive game with an undisclosed injury, but that a return for Thursday's game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs is a possibility. Winnipeg is also without Zach Bogosian, whose return remains slated for mid-February. Alexander Burmistrov centers Winnipeg's second line.

Kyle Wellwood is expected to return to the Winnipeg lineup and replace rookie Mark Scheifele.

Here are the possible line combinations for the Jets:

Evander KaneOlli JokinenBlake Wheeler

Andrew LaddAlexander BurmistrovBryan Little

Alexei PonikarovskyNikolai AntropovKyle Wellwood

James WrightJim SlaterChris Thorburn

Tobias EnstromRon Hainsey

Mark StuartZach Redmond

Grant ClitsomePaul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec

Al Montoya

Injured: Zach Bogosian, Dustin Byfuglien, Antti Miettinen

Scratched: Anthony Peluso, Mark Scheifele

Quote of the Day

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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