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GAME DAY: Jets begin road trip in Nashville

7:00pm CT - TV: TSN3; Radio: TSN 1290

by Winnipeg Jets @NHLJets / WinnipegJets.com

Video: JetsTV Road Report

NASHVILLE, TN - It was a good news/bad news situation for the Winnipeg Jets this morning.

The good news is they've picked up points in seven of their last eight road games (5-1-2 in that span), with a three-game trip beginning tonight in Nashville.

The bad news is the team will be without defenceman Jacob Trouba tonight. He joins Toby Enstrom and Tyler Myers as defencemen out of the line-up.

"Missing those guys, it's always tough to lose key players," said Marko Dano. "Myers has been out for a long time, and now those two guys are out. We're just going to try and help them out as much as we can, and hopefully it's going to work."

Video: PREGAME | Marko Dano

The Jets (30-33-6) didn't do full line rushes at Bridgestone Arena during morning skate, but head coach Paul Maurice did say that Andrew Copp will shift to centre the fourth line, and Nic Petan will come out of the line-up.

Despite not being in the line-up tonight, Trouba did take part in the skate this morning.

"We can be hopeful. We'll see how he feels tomorrow," Maurice said of Trouba's possible availability for tomorrow night's game in New Jersey. "We're going to need that centre ice to be real strong down low. We may spend a little more time there, but (it's) a good opportunity for all these guys to play meaningful minutes against some really good players."

Trouba missed the team's practice on Sunday at MTS Iceplex, which came the day after the Jets lost their third straight game to finish off a six-game home stand, 3-0 to the Calgary Flames.

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice

"Obviously we weren't happy with how that home stand ended," said Paul Postma, who says the team has turned the page and is focusing on Nashville, the Central Division's third-ranked team.

"They play with a lot of speed. They've got some top-end skilled guys," said Postma. "We're going to have to stay out of the box tonight, special teams have been hurting us a little bit. Those are the things we have to worry about, but for us, we just have to play a better solid team game, stay disciplined, and play a full 60 minutes."

Despite devoting most of Sunday's practice to working on the penalty kill, the Jets know discipline will be important tonight against a Nashville power play clipping along at 20.4 per cent, just outside the top 10 in the NHL.

Video: PREGAME | Paul Postma

The teams have split their two meetings this season, which came way back in November. The home team won each match up, and while the Jets come in looking to snap a three-game skid, the Predators (33-24-11) have points in nine of their last eleven games, including a 3-1 win over San Jose in their last outing.

"It's down to crunch time. We have to be at our best. Nashville is a good team, and we have to be ready for a grind tonight," said Mark Scheifele. "They're quick, they have lots of skill, but they play a hard game. They're hard on the puck, they skate really well, (and) they're good down low. They have a lot of big bodies that like to hold on to the puck. We have to be ready for that."

Video: PREGAME | Mark Scheifele

Connor Hellebuyck (22-18-3, .908 save percentage) is expected to start in goal for the Jets, and Pekka Rinne (25-16-8, .915 save percentage) will counter for the Predators. Puck drop is set for 7 pm CT on TSN 3 and TSN 1290.

- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com

JETS GAME NOTES

Tonight's Game

The Winnipeg Jets begin a three-games-in-four-nights road trip tonight against the Nashville Predators…The Jets lost 3-0 to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night to finish a six-game homestand with a 2-4-0 record…Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves in Saturday's loss…The Predators beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Saturday and picked up at least a point in each game of a three-game Pacific Division road trip last week (1-0-2)…The Jets continue the road trip Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils.

Facing the Central

The Jets are 16-8-1 against Central Division teams this season, including 8-5-1 on the road…Including tonight, Winnipeg only has four games remaining against Central Division teams.

Back at It

For the second of three times this month, Winnipeg is playing on back-to-back nights…The Jets are 6-5-1 in the first game of back-to-backs and 6-4-2 in the second game of back-to-back games this season.

Winning Draws

The Jets won 55.7% (34-for-61) of the faceoffs against Calgary on Saturday, which marked the fourth straight game Winnipeg has won more faceoffs than their opponent…The Jets have won more than 50% of their faceoffs in seven of their last nine games…Since Feb. 18, Winnipeg has won 52.8% (294-for-519) of its faceoffs, which is tied for fifth in the NHL.

The Road Ahead

The Jets are nine points back of the St. Louis Blues for the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference and the Blues have two games in hand…Of the 13 games the Jets have left in the regular season, eight are against teams currently holding a playoff spot…The Jets have a combined record of 10-11-2 this season against the teams they have remaining on their schedule…Winnipeg's tragic number for being eliminated from playoff contention is 17.

Special Teams Notes

- The Jets are 3-for-22 (13.6%) on the power play in their last five games, but haven't scored a power play goal in back-to-back games (0-for-8).
- The Jets are 5-for-10 (50%) on the penalty kill in their last two games.
- Winnipeg allowed three power play goals against Pittsburgh on Wednesday and two against Calgary on Saturday, which marks the second time this season the Jets have allowed multiple power play goals against in back-to-back games…The other time was Dec. 8 vs NYR (2) and Dec. 10 vs DET (2).
- Winnipeg has been shorthanded the most in the NHL this season at 239 times.
- The Jets have been shorthanded 78 times in the third period this season, which is the most in the league.

Take Your Shot

Jacob Trouba had four shots on Saturday to reach 136 shots on the season, which is a career-high…He had 133 shots in each of the last two seasons…Trouba has four shots or more in 14 of his 52 games this season and has been held without a shot in only four games all season.

Owning the Dot

Bryan Little won 12-of-15 faceoffs Saturday against Calgary for a season-high 80% success rate…He had previously won 76.9% (Jan 18 vs ARI - 20-of-26) and 72.7% (Dec. 29 vs. CBJ - 16-of-22) this season…Since returning from injury on Nov. 29, Little has won 55.9% of his faceoffs, which is tied for fourth in the NHL among players that have taken 800 faceoffs since then.

Rookie Lead Widens

Despite being held off the scoresheet in back-to-back games, Patrik Laine continues to lead NHL rookies in scoring with 59 points (32g, 27a) in 61 games, which is four more points than Toronto's Auston Matthews in six less games…Laine is tied for second in NHL goal scoring this season and is tied for the sixth most goals by an 18-year-old rookie in NHL history…Laine needs eight goals in Winnipeg's last 13 games to become only the second 18-year-old rookie in NHL history to score 40 goals in a season, joining former Winnipeg Jet Dale Hawerchuk, who had 45 goals during the 1981-82 season…Since representing the Jets at the NHL All-star Game, Laine has 19 points (10g, 9a) in 17 games.

Jets vs. Predators All-Time Records

Overall: 13-16-4
At Bridgestone Arena: 3-5-0

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