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At the Rink blog

Hand infection shelves Jets' Kane until Olympic break

Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 2:47 PM

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

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Hand infection shelves Jets' Kane until Olympic break

WINNIPEG -- A hand infection will keep Winnipeg Jets left wing Evander Kane out of the lineup Tuesday against the Nashville Predators and out until at least the Olympic break.

Kane sustained the hand injury Jan. 7 in a fight with Eric Brewer of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Kane missed four games with the injury before returning for the revitalized Jets' past four games.

Chris Thorburn will take Kane's place on the Jets' second line with Blake Wheeler and rookie center Mark Scheifele. Wheeler, who leads the team with 21 goals, sat out the morning skate Tuesday but will play against the Predators.

James Wright will take Thorburn's spot on the Jets' fourth line.

"It's a really unfortunate setback for [Kane]. For our team but certainly for him because I liked the way he was coming and going and we're going to miss him," coach Paul Maurice said of Kane's injury.

A run of six wins in seven games for the Jets since Maurice took over has pushed them one point past the Predators for sixth place in the Central Division.

The Jets have allowed 13 goals in Maurice's seven games since replacing Claude Noel, and captain Andrew Ladd credits the new bench presence with rebuilding both the Jets' confidence and its defensive structure.

"I think the things [Maurice] has implemented have made us quicker defensively," Ladd said. "We're on the puck and not giving teams time and space.

"We're playing with confidence right now. I think that we feel that we should win every game. We know what's ahead of us and know that we'll have to string some wins together but I think that's an exciting challenge for this group, especially with the way we're playing."

The Predators are winding down a four-game tour through Western Canada. They're 1-1-1 on the trip but the Edmonton Oilers dealt them a 5-1 loss Sunday at Rexall Place.

"This will be a tough test," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "I said to our guys this building will probably have a lot of playoff feel. They're passionate fans and they're excited by where the [Jets] are lately. So don't be intimidated by it. It's a good feeling. It will be a fun game and I hope our guys are up for the challenge."

Predators forward Colin Wilson did not participate in the morning skate at MTS Centre but will play against Winnipeg. Center Matt Cullen (upper body) is questionable after missing the game Sunday while left wing Viktor Stalberg (upper body) will miss his second consecutive game.

The Predators recalled rookie center Colton Sissons from the Milwaukee Admirals, their American Hockey League affiliate, on Monday. Sissons leads the Admirals with 16 goals and 28 points and was named to the 2014 AHL All-Star Team. Trotz expects Sissons will make his NHL debut and play on the Predators' penalty kill.

Carter Hutton, who took the loss in Edmonton, will start in goal for the Predators. Ondrej Pavelec will return for the Jets and make his ninth start in the team's past 10 games.

Here are the probable lineups for the Predators and Jets:

PREDATORS

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Patric Hornqvist

Nick Spaling - David Legwand - Craig Smith

Gabriel Bourque - Paul Gaustad - Eric Nystrom

Rich Clune - Colton Sissons - Taylor Beck

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Michael Del Zotto - Seth Jones

Victor Bartley - Ryan Ellis

Carter Hutton

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Mattias Ekholm

Injured: Matt Cullen (upper body), Pekka Rinne (hip), Viktor Stalberg (upper body)

JETS

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Michael Frolik

Chris Thorburn - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Devin Setoguchi - Olli Jokinen - Dustin Byfuglien

James Wright - Eric O'Dell - Anthony Peluso

Zach Bogosian - Tobias Enstrom

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Adam Pardy - Keaton Ellerby

Ondrej Pavelec

Al Montoya

Scratched: Paul Postma, Zach Redmond, Eric Tangradi

Injured: Grant Clitsome (back), Matt Halischuk (forearm), Evander Kane (hand), Jim Slater (sports hernia)

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