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At the Rink blog

Jets hoping to come out firing against Kings

Friday, 10.04.2013 / 1:53 PM

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

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Jets hoping to come out firing against Kings

WINNIPEG -– The Winnipeg Jets' fresh legs will meet an opponent in the Los Angeles Kings that is playing its second game in 24 hours when the teams meet Friday night at MTS Centre.

The Kings opened their season Thursday night on the road by grinding out a come-from-behind 3-2 shootout win against the Minnesota Wild. Winnipeg opened its season Tuesday with a third-period rally of its own in taking a 5-4 win against the Edmonton Oilers.

Only four Kings participated in the team's morning skate after a late arrival in Winnipeg from Minnesota. Jets right wing Blake Wheeler watched the Los Angeles-Minnesota game on television, and he expects the Kings to attempt to slow down a quick Jets team, especially with L.A. playing on consecutive nights.

"From our side, we've got to come at them and try to make them skate with us," Wheeler said after the Jets' morning skate.

Winnipeg plays eight of its next nine games at home and needs a strong month to establish itself as a legitimate player in the Western Conference, especially after posting a 13-10-1 home record last season that ranked 21st in the League. Jets coach Claude Noel is interested to see how his team fares against an opponent that plays a very conservative game. In his third season at the helm in Winnipeg, Noel has made a stronger commitment to defensive play a major priority in 2013-14.

"I think it's a good measuring stick," Noel said. "Because we're going to get a team that plays a different style than [in] the first game [against Edmonton]. This is more of a grinding, patient game that forces us to play a patient game as well."

Certainly, the Kings provide the Jets with an in-person template of what will be needed to reshape the Jets into the sort of responsible team that Noel seeks.

"It comes from accountability and leadership of your top players," Kings coach Darryl Sutter explained. "That's pretty much it, right there."

Los Angeles will return Jonathan Quick to the net after his 27-save performance against Minnesota. Winnipeg will counter with Ondrej Pavelec.

Here are the expected lineups for the Kings and Jets on Friday:

KINGS

Dwight King - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams

Matt Frattin - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter

Trevor Lewis - Jarret Stoll - Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford - Colin Fraser - Jordan Nolan

Drew Doughty - Robyn Regehr

Slava Voynov - Willie Mitchell

Jake Muzzin - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: Daniel Carcillo, Keaton Ellerby, Alec Martinez

NOTES: The Kings, who have a completely healthy roster, are expected to dress the same lineup that faced Minnesota.

JETS

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler

Evander Kane - Mark Scheifele - Devin Setoguchi

Eric Tangradi - Olli Jokinen - Michael Frolik

James Wright - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn

Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien

Zach Bogosian - Jacob Trouba

Mark Stuart - Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec

Al Montoya

Scratched: Matt Halischuk, Adam Pardy, Anthony Peluso

Injured: Grant Clitsome (lower body)

NOTES: Winnipeg will be without defenseman Grant Clitsome (lower body), a player they are depending on to help solidify their defensive top-four. Rookie Jacob Trouba, 19, will again pair with Zach Bogosian after a one-goal, one-assist performance Tuesday in his NHL debut. Clitsome is a possibility to return Sunday night against the Anaheim Ducks.

Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense