WINNIPEG – For one day only, the Winnipeg Jets might have to step away from the spotlight in their own city.
Teemu Selanne’s return to the city has made the Jets’ date tonight at MTS Centre with the Anaheim Ducks the most difficult ticket of the season since Winnipeg’s season-opening game on Oct. 9.
But the Jets (14-13-4) have a game to play, Selanne excitement notwithstanding, as they look to redeem themselves after a loss Thursday night to the Washington Capitals. The loss, the first time a visiting team has shut out the Jets at home this season, ended the Jets’ five-game home winning streak and left coach Claude Noel extremely frustrated.
Chris Mason is expected to start in net tonight for the Jets. In Mason’s most recent start, he beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-2, at MTS Centre on Dec. 9.
The Jets sent right wing Carl Klingberg back to their American League affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps, on Friday. Waiver-wire acquisition Antti Miettinen will not dress for the Jets tonight as he acclimates himself to the Jets after a long journey this week from Finland, but the Jets will have other reinforcements available.
Defenseman Tobias Enstrom is expected to dress for the first time since he broke his collarbone Oct. 31 at Florida. The injury has cost Enstrom 20 games, and his return would be another boost to a Winnipeg blue line that also regained the services of Ron Hainsey this week.
The status of forwards Nikolai Antropov and Alexander Burmistrov remains murky for tonight.
Here is the projected lineup for Winnipeg:
Evander Kane – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
Andrew Ladd – Kyle Wellwood – Eric Fehr
Tanner Glass – Jim Slater – Chris Thorburn
Jason Jaffray – Tim Stapleton
Mark Stuart – Zach Bogosian
Johnny Oduya – Dustin Byfuglien
Ron Hainsey – Tobias Enstrom