At the Rink: Coyotes at Jets

Tuesday, 01.26.2016 / 2:46 PM | Patrick Williams  - Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets could be without center Bryan Little when they host the Arizona Coyotes at MTS Centre on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-A, TSN3).

Little, who leads the Jets (21-24-3) with 15 goals, did not participate in the morning skate for undisclosed reasons. He also did not finish practice Monday.

"We had to have him looked at [Tuesday] and run some tests," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "As the plan is right now, unless something changes he is going to take warmup. And if he feels good he is going to play."

If Little does not play, he would join Mathieu Perreault as another Winnipeg forward out of the lineup. Perreault will not play because of a lower-body injury; forward Patrice Cormier will dress in his place. Forward Adam Lowry (upper body) will miss his fifth consecutive game.

Little's absence would shift leading scorer Blake Wheeler to center on Winnipeg's top line, with captain Andrew Ladd and rookie Nikolaj Ehlers.

Winnipeg will have center Mark Scheifele back in the lineup after he missed seven games because of a lower-body injury. Scheifele was activated from injured reserve Tuesday with Perreault going on IR.

"It's a challenge at center more than anything else," Maurice said. "Losing [centers] becomes a challenge. If one or two guys go down it changes what everybody on the wings gets to do and who they play with.

"If [Little] is out … we liked [Wheeler] at center, so there's another option. I'm not saying that it's a long-term option. But if [Wheeler] was to go into the middle and catch fire we'd leave him there as long as long as he was on fire and see how long that developed."

Scheifele shrugged aside any questions about the Jets' recent injuries in relation to poor play. In a stretch of nine of 10 games at home, they have lost the first three games of their six-game homestand. They are in last place in the Central Division.

"Every team goes through injuries," Scheifele said. "It just happens to be our time now. We have to find a way to fill that void. If it means doing it by committee or whatever it is, we have to find that extra bit of energy we have and try to fill it."

Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck will start for the 19th time in the past 21 games.

Arizona (24-19-5) did not have a morning skate after a late arrival following a 2-1 shootout win Monday at the Minnesota Wild. However, the Arizona Republic reported goaltender Louis Domingue will start for the 12th time in the past 13 games and defenseman Nicklas Grossmann (illness) will play. Forward Christian Thomas also is a lineup option for coach Dave Tippett.

If the Coyotes win and the San Jose Sharks lose in regulation at home against the Colorado Avalanche, the Coyotes would move into second place in the Pacific Division. Their 24th win Monday tied their total for all of 2014-15.

Here are the projected lineups:


Tobias Rieder - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker

Max Domi - Martin Hanzal - Viktor Tikhonov

Jordan Martinook - Brad Richardson - Shane Doan

Kyle Chipchura - Boyd Gordon - Anthony Duclair

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Connor Murphy

Nicklas Grossmann - Zbynek Michalek

Kevin Connauton - Michael Stone

Louis Domingue

Anders Lindback

Injured: Mike Smith (abdominal surgery), Joe Vitale (fractured orbital bone)

Scratched: Klas Dahlbeck, Christian Thomas, Jarred Tinordi


Andrew Ladd - Blake Wheeler - Nikolaj Ehlers

Joel Armia - Mark Scheifele - Drew Stafford

Chris Thorburn - Alexander Burmistrov - Matt Halischuk

Patrice Cormier - Andrew Copp - Anthony Peluso

Jacob Trouba - Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom - Tyler Myers

Mark Stuart - Ben Chiarot

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Injured: Grant Clitsome (back), Bryan Little (undisclosed), Adam Lowry (upper body), Mathieu Perreault (lower body), Ondrej Pavelec (knee)

Scratched: Adam Pardy, Paul Postma

Status report: Tinordi is expected to come out of the lineup with Grossmann's return. … Postma returned to the roster after a two-week conditioning assignment with Manitoba of the American Hockey League. He has played three NHL games since Jan. 8, 2015.

Who's hot: Domingue has allowed two or fewer goals in each of his past four starts. … Doan has one goal and three assists in his past four games. … Ehlers has one goal and two assists during a three-game point streak.

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