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GAME DAY: Jets begin road trip in Arizona

8:00pm CT - TV: TSN3; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 /

Video: JetsTV Road Report

GLENDALE, AZ - For the Winnipeg Jets, the time to respond is now.

The team takes to the ice in game action tonight for the first time since Wednesday's 7-4 loss to Montreal. A defeat that had the players and coaching staff upset with every aspect of the team's game.

Nikolaj Ehlers is just one of the players who can't wait for the puck to drop against the Arizona Coyotes tonight.

"We all know that we need to bounce back. That last game was not good for us," said Ehlers, who extended his point streak to six games with an assist in the loss. "I didn't like my last game at all. But before that I felt good, I felt confident in the way I was playing. I want to get back to that.

"I want to get back to using my speed as much as I can, which I don't feel like I've been doing the past two or three games. Just go out there, play the game, and get the win with the guys."

Video: PREGAME | Nikolaj Ehlers

Ben Chiarot will not play against Arizona due to an upper body injury sustained in Wednesday's game. As a result, Mark Stuart draws back into the line-up for the first time since Nov. 29 against New Jersey.

"Obviously I haven't played for a while so I just have to keep things simple. I'm just going to play hard," said the 32-year-old Stuart. "You just try to stay ready. When you do get the chance to get back in you want to be ready to go. You don't want to let yourself or your teammates down by not being ready to go."

Head coach Paul Maurice says Stuart has handled being in and out of the line-up this season with a professional attitude, and that the defenceman has worked to stay sharp by putting in time before and after practice.

Video: PREGAME | Mark Stuart

"The core of what you ask of your players, Mark does. He's an exceptionally fit guy, he's intense, and really into being a great pro," said Maurice. "He's really in tune with what his body needs to stay sharp. He works every single day. It's not easy hopping into a game after such a long stretch off, but he will have given himself the best chance to be good."

The Coyotes (12-22-6) were winless in nine games before a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday. Overall, Arizona is 1-8-1 in their last 10 games, and sit 29th in the NHL in goals for and goals against per game.

Despite coming off a five-day break, Arizona will have to wait one more game before Alexander Burmistrov (claimed off waivers Jan. 2) gets in the line-up. The forward did take morning skate with the team after arriving late last night.

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice

Maurice expects an energized Coyotes team at Gila River Arena tonight.

"These guys had come off such a tough stretch toward the end, it was a benefit to them that they weren't on the ice. They win their last game and get a mental break," said Maurice. "I'm sure it's the same game as a game after Christmas. Keep it simple. That's the game they want to play here today. We're going to see lots of energy. We have to be sharper than them."

Puck drop is 8 pm CT.

- Mitchell Clinton,


Tonight's Game

The Winnipeg Jets begin a three-game Pacific Division road trip tonight against the Arizona Coyotes in their second trip to Gila River Arena this season…The Jets split a couple games at home earlier this week, shutting out the Calgary Flames 2-0 on Monday and losing 7-4 to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday…Mark Scheifele (2g), Bryan Little (1g, 1a) and Drew Stafford (2a) each had two points against the Canadiens…The Coyotes are coming off their bye week, having not played since a 2-1 shootout win against the New York Islanders on Jan. 7…Following tonight's game, the Jets head to Los Angeles for a meeting with the Kings Saturday night at Staples Center.

Jets vs. Coyotes Notes

- Winnipeg went 2-1-0 against Arizona last season, with the home team winning all three games.
- The Jets ended a two-game losing streak at Gila River Arena with their win there in November.
- The Jets have won four of their last five games against the Coyotes and nine of their last 11.
- Mark Scheifele is on a six-game point streak (1g, 5a) against Arizona…He has points in seven of nine career games against the Coyotes.
- Dustin Byfuglien has a team-high 18 points (9g, 9a) against the Coyotes.

January Goals

The Jets are tied for second in the NHL with 19 goals scored in January and are second with an average of 3.8 goals per game in January…Winnipeg has scored at least three goals in four of their five games this month…The Jets 19 goals in January have been scored by 11 different players…On the season, the Jets are tied for eighth in the NHL with 120 goals scored and are averaging 2.7 goals per game.

Pacific Sun

tonight is the second of seven games the Jets play against Pacific Division teams in a 16-day span (Jan. 9-24)…After Monday's win against Calgary, the Jets are 4-5-0 against Pacific Division teams this season…All five of the Jets losses against the Pacific Division have come against the three Canadian teams - Edmonton (3), Calgary (1) and Vancouver (1)…The Jets have picked up wins against the Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings…Last season, the Jets went 12-8-1 against Pacific Division opponents.

Unlucky 7

The seven goals Winnipeg surrendered against Montreal on Wednesday is the most the Jets have given up at MTS Centre…The Jets had previously given up six goals at home on seven occasions…When the franchise was in Atlanta it allowed seven goals or more at home nine times.

Friday Night Lights

Tonight is Winnipeg's fourth Friday night game of the season, which have all been on the road so far…The Jets are 2-1-0 on Friday's this season…Winnipeg plays three more Friday games this season - Feb. 10 vs. CHI, Mar. 3 vs. STL and Mar. 24 at ANA.

What Time is It?

During the course of eight days, the Jets play five games in all four of North America's time zones...Each of the five games during the eight days also begin at a different time in Winnipeg…Below is the breakdown.

Ehlers Streaks

Nikolaj Ehlers is on a six-game, eight-point point streak (5g, 3a), which is tied with Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien for the longest point streak by a member of the Jets this season…It's the longest point streak of Ehlers' career.

Scoring Leader

Mark Scheifele scored twice against Montreal on Wednesday to regain the team scoring lead with 39 points (19g, 20a) in 41 games…He has five goals in his last eight games after going six games without a goal, which is his longest goal scoring drought of the season…Scheifele, who is tied for 11th in NHL scoring, was among the NHL scoring leaders early in the season with 20 points (10g, 10a) in his first 16 games…He has yet to go three consecutive games without a point this season.

Quick Hits

- Blake Wheeler (1g, 2a) and Drew Stafford (1g, 3a) are on three-game point streaks.
- Dustin Byfuglien leads all NHLers with 1,202:25 TOI this season and 27:19 TOI per game…He's the only player in the NHL to reach 1,200 minutes played so far this season.
- Jacob Trouba and Toby Enstrom are tied for 10th in the NHL with an average of 3:15 shorthanded TOI this season.
- Chris Thorburn is tied for the NHL lead with nine major penalties this season, all of which are fighting majors.

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