PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania - When heading into a season-long, five-game road trip, it helps to have good company. That's what the Winnipeg Jets have in their dressing room as they begin a nine day trek that begins in Philadelphia tonight.
"They've played hard in their games. We've had a little more success in the last seven or eight days," said head coach Paul Maurice. "We've won a few games, so you're seeing a comfort level that I'm showing that they're having fun. It's been like that in the room. Not casual, but they've got a lot of inside jokes, which is always a great sign… That's the sign of a good room."
Video: PREGAME | Mark Scheifele
The Jets have points in each of their last five games, going 4-0-1 in that span, including a 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night. It was another night when the Jets had contributions from all over the line-up. Patrik Laine scored his league-leading 12th of the season, with Chris Thorburn, Josh Morrissey, and Nic Petan all scoring their first of the campaign.
Petan, along with Marko Dano and Andrew Copp have been big contributors, recording a combined eight points in the eight games since being recalled from the Manitoba Moose.
"We've drafted well. At the base of this, Kevin Cheveldayoff and the scouting group have drafted well," Maurice said.
"When you bring up Petan and Dano, they come into your line-up, that's how they got to this level. Putting pucks in the net, making plays, being creative, they have the hand skills to do it… These younger players have come in and been impactful."
Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice
Tonight's match up is the third on a four-game home stand for the Flyers. Tuesday night's shootout loss at the hands of the Ottawa Senators dropped Philadelphia's record to 1-0-1 on the home stand, and 7-7-3 this season.
Although they were 0-for-4 on the power play in the loss, the Flyers have scored at least once with the man-advantage in nine of their last 11 games. At 27.4 percent, Philadelphia's power play unit ranks second in the NHL. Wayne Simmonds leads all Flyers players with five of his eight goals coming on the power play.
"You've got to know their tendencies and what's got them goals. You know Simmonds is going to be in front of the net, and he's a pretty big body and a pretty skilled player that can do a lot with his stick in front of the net," said Jacob Trouba. "That's something as a defenseman you kind of have to key in on."
Video: PREGAME | Jacob Trouba
Getting a win tonight would improve Winnipeg's 6-4-0 road record, and also be a good start to a road trip that Maurice says he'll compare to a similar November trip last season.
"I'm probably talking to myself more than the players on that idea for me. I squeezed at a time in the season last year that I don't know if they could handle it," said Maurice. "We're going to try and keep confidence here. We're in a real tough schedule, it's a real tough grind. We want to make sure we're as fresh mentally as we can be."
The puck drops at Wells Fargo Center at 6 pm CT.
Video: PREGAME | Blake Wheeler
LATE HITS: After wearing a non-contact jersey at Tuesday's morning skate, Drew Stafford was in a regular practice jersey today in Philadelphia. Head coach Paul Maurice says the forward stayed out on the ice late this morning to get some extra contact work in, but his availability for Saturday's game in Boston is up in the air.
"That would be a possibility," Maurice said. "But if it's not Boston, it won't be a setback."
- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
JETS GAME NOTES
The Winnipeg Jets begin a five-game road trip tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center…The Jets shutout the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 at MTS Centre on Tuesday night to cap a two-game homestand with a pair of wins…Josh Morrissey, Chris Thorburn, Patrik Laine and Nic Petan scored for Winnipeg against the Blackhawks, as nine different Jets registered at least a point…The Flyers are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night and are 1-0-1 in their current four-game homestand…Following tonight's game, the Jets visit the Boston Bruins on Saturday before heading to Carolina to play the Hurricanes on Sunday.
On the Road Again
The Jets are back on the road for the next nine days…Winnipeg has points in five of their last six road games…This is the longest road trip of the season…When the Jets are finished this trip, they will have played 10 of 13 games away from MTS Centre…At 3-3-2 and eight points, the Jets are tied for the 12th in the NHL for points earned in road games this season.
With 16 games in 29 days and 10 games in the first 17 days, it's been (and continues to be) a long November for the Jets…The Jets are 5-2-2 in November, which places them tied with the Boston Bruins (6-2-0) for third in the NHL with 12 points…The Jets have points in five consecutive games (4-0-1), which is a season-high, and their 31 goals this month is second only to the New York Rangers' 37 goals…Winnipeg has already surpassed the four games they won in all of last November when they earned the least of amount of points in the NHL during that month with a 4-9-1 record (nine points) .
Power Play of Opportunity
Winnipeg has played on the power play a league-leading 114:23, with 111:08 of that being 5-on-4 power play time…The Jets also have a league-best 67 power plays (tied with Tampa Bay), 29 second period power plays and 119 power play shots.
Rookie Patrik Laine scored his NHL-leading 12th goal of the season in the third period Tuesday against Chicago, which ended a three-game goalless streak…His 17 points is tied for ninth in the NHL and leads all rookies…Laine also leads all rookie forward with 19:00 TOI per game…Lastly, he leads all NHLers with five snap shot goals.
First Line Production
Winnipeg's top line of Nikolaj Ehlers (4g, 12a), Mark Scheifele (10g, 11a) and Patrik Laine (12g, 5a) have combined for 54 points, which is the most points by three forwards from the same team in the NHL this season…In addition to Laine leading the league in goals, Scheifele has a share of the NHL scoring lead with Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov…Ehlers has 10 assists in his last seven games, which leads the NHL for most assists since Nov. 4…The Jets are 5-1-1 since Nov. 4 and Scheifele (5g, 7) and Ehlers (2g, 10a) lead the NHL in scoring since then with 12 points, while Laine is tied for the third since then with nine points (6g, 3a).
Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has won five of his last six starts…He has a .938 save percentage in the five wins and a 1.77 goals-against average…He earned the third shutout of his career in Tuesday's 4-0 win against Chicago…Of the 15 goaltenders in the NHL that have played three games in the last week, Hellebuyck is second with a 1.30 GAA and fourth with a .951 save percentage.
Call Ups Contribute
With six forwards currently injured, the Jets have received key contributions from forwards called up from the Manitoba Moose…Andrew Copp, Marko Dano, Nic Petan and Quinton Howden started the season with the Moose and have combined for six goals and eight assists in the last eight games.
- Winnipeg is fourth in the NHL with 526 shots for this season.
- The Jets are a perfect 6-0 when leading after the second period.
- The Jets lead the NHL with 25 third period goals.