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Preview: Coyotes vs. Jets

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GAME 82:

Coyotes (39-34-8) vs. Jets (46-30-5) 

Seeking its 40th win of the season, Arizona will play its 2018-19 finale vs. Winnipeg on Saturday night in Glendale.

WHERE: Gila River Arena | WHEN: 7 p.m. (AZ time) | TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus | RADIO: ESPN 620 AM 

ABOUT THE 'YOTES: 

• The Coyotes, who were eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday, are looking to become just the eighth team in franchise history to win 40 games (or more) in one season.  

Calvin Pickard will start in goal for the first time since Feb. 19 in place of Darcy Kuemper, who started the past 22 games. Pickard is 0-3-0 in five games this season for the Coyotes, who claimed him off waivers on Nov. 29. 

• Oliver Ekman-Larsson has notched 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 20 career games vs. Winnipeg. He'll enter the game with 334 career points, needing one to tie Fredrik Olausson for 12th place on the franchise list for most points. 

• Niklas Hjalmarsson, who ranks second in the NHL with 184 blocked shots, will skate in his 82nd game of the season. It will mark the second time in his career he's played a complete season. He's taken 57 shots in 2018-19, but still is seeking his first goal of the campaign.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup.#OurPack pic.twitter.com/FzAPZbH1Ef

Clayton Keller, who leads the team with 47 points, also will play in his 82nd game. He played in all 82 games last season, too. 

• Lawson Crouse needs two hits in tonight's game to pass Luke Schenn's franchise record for most hits in one season. Schenn delivered 286 in 2016-17.

• The Coyotes will enter the season finale leading the NHL in penalty killing at 85.3 percent. The franchise, which entered the NHL in 1979-80, has never finished a season ranked first in penalty killing.

ABOUT THE JETS:

Winnipeg has earned 97 points and sits in second place in the Central Division standings one point behind Nashville ... The Jets, who are postseason bound, need to beat the Coyotes to clinch home ice in the first round of the playoffs; a Winnipeg win combined with a Nashville loss in any fashion would give the Jets their first division title since rejoining the NHL in 2011 ... Winnipeg has won 21 road games this season, which is a franchise record ... The Jets rank fifth in the NHL in power-play efficiency at 24.6 percent ... Blake Wheeler leads Winnipeg in points (90) and assists (70) ... Mark Scheifele has scored a team-high 37 goals ... Goalie Connor Hellebuyck is 1-3-1 in his past five starts, and he allowed 17 goals in those five games. 

'YOTES QUOTES:

• "We want to come out and have a good effort. Winnipeg didn't win (vs. Colorado) the other night, so we want to beat them just to stick it to them a little bit. Obviously you don't want to rely on anyone for help, but they certainly didn't give us any. It is what it is. We're just going to try to do the same things we've been doing, and have some pride, have some fun." -- Brad Richardson

• "We've had a good run. We've had some ups and downs, but I think we've stuck with it. To be this close to the playoffs and not make it is frustrating. I think this game will be a hard-fought game. Winnipeg is looking to get home ice for the playoffs and we're obviously looking to play well in our last game and get a win. For us, we're just playing for each other now and to have some pride at the end of the year." -- Josh Archibald

• "It's nice to get in the net any time you can. It's a great opportunity for me. Winnipeg is playing for home-ice advantage in the playoffs so it should be a good test. I'm looking forward to it. Getting a win would be a great way to finish the season and head into the summer." -- Calvin Pickard

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