WASHINGTON, D.C. - For the second time in three days, the Winnipeg Jets will battle the Washington Capitals with a valuable two points on the line.
Tonight however, the Jets line-up will look much different than it did in Tuesday's 3-2 loss.
With Bryan Little, Drew Stafford, and Shawn Matthias on injured reserve, Mark Stuart and Tyler Myers out with lower-body injuries, and Chris Thorburn out of the line-up for "(positive) family reasons," Andrew Copp and Marko Dano will get their first NHL action of the season tonight.
They'll even play on the same line, with Alexander Burmistrov rounding out the trio.
"I think the time on ice was really good for me. All the puck touches, the power play and penalty kill time," said Copp of his time with the Manitoba Moose where he had five assists in eight games prior to the recall.
"I don't think that's going to be my role tonight, but just try to show that when we're in the offensive zone, to hold on to the puck a bit more, find my teammates. Just trying to come in and play a real solid game in all zones."
Video: PREGAME | Andrew Copp
Maurice said Copp's work in the face-off dot in the AHL was something that caught his eye, and the head coach also praised Dano's ability to maintain puck possession. That will be key against a Capitals team that sits fifth in the NHL in shot-attempt percentage (53.14%) at even strength
Without the puck, the Capitals have shown to be solid defensively as well, allowing only 18 goals against this year - third best in the NHL. However, the Jets were able fire 45 shots at Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby on Tuesday, a season-high for Winnipeg, in a losing effort.
Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice
"We know with the way they defend that you're not going to get a lot of seam plays on them. So we didn't spend a whole lot of time slowing our game down to look for them," Maurice said. "We skated well in that game. It's going to look a little different here tonight. They're really strong at home… But the mindset won't change. We'll be direct with the puck."
After lighting the lamp three times on the power play in two games against Dallas, the Jets power play hasn't been able to find twine in the last three contests. The team isn't concerned though, and for good reason. The Jets lead the league in power play time (73:34) and shot attempts on the man-advantage (126).
"We get momentum also after the power play. We stay on the puck the whole time, we never give up on the puck," said Nikolaj Ehlers. "Our power play is working. We just have to get the puck in. It'll come."
Video: PREGAME | Nikolaj Ehlers
Tonight's match-up is the start of a three-game Eastern Conference road trip for the Jets, who up until this point in the season, haven't had a road trip longer than one game. Speaking of road trips, Washington's win at MTS Centre wrapped up a four-game road trip through Western Canada that saw them win three games.
Tonight's rematch against the Capitals brings a smile to the face of Maurice, who likes to play teams in back-to-back situations.
"You move to more adjustment video, you keep it shorter. The guys get into a better rhythm," said Maurice. "I think it's really good for the game. From a coaching point of view you like them because you feel like you get to spend some time trying to fix your game. It's a better challenge."
- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
Video: PREGAME | Marko Dano
JETS GAME NOTES
The Winnipeg Jets begin a three-game road trip tonight in Washington against the Capitals, who beat the Jets 3-2 on Tuesday night…Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry scored in the third period for the Jets on Tuesday to erase the Capitals' 2-0 lead, but Jay Beagle scored the game-winner for the Caps with :30 left in the third period…This road trip of three games in four days for the Jets continues tomorrow night against the Detroit Red Wings and concludes Sunday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.
Shots, Shots and More Shots
After setting a new season high with 45 shots on Tuesday against Washington, the Jets are tied for sixth in the NHL with 313 shots this season…Winnipeg leads the NHL with 13 deflected shots…Nikolaj Ehlers' eight shots on Tuesday set a new Jets season high and marked the 13 time this season a player in the NHL had at least eight shots in a game.
After Tuesday's game, the Jets led the NHL with 73:34 of power play time this season…Winnipeg leads the league with 126 shot attempts on the power play…The Jets haven't scored or allowed a power play goal in three consecutive games - power play is 0-for-13 and penalty kill is 8-for-8…Winnipeg has played 18:35 more on the power play than the penalty kill, which is the second-most in the NHL.
The Jets play 16 games in 29 days during November, including 10 on the road…During each of the next three weekends Winnipeg will play three games in four nights and four games in seven nights to end the month…The Jets don't have back-to-back days off again until Nov. 21-22.
We Meet Again
This week's home-and-home series against Washington is the second of three such home-and-home sets the Jets will play this season and second of four occurrences on the schedule in which Winnipeg will play the same team in back-to-back games…This is the only home-and-home that begins at home for the Jets…All of the back-to-back games against the same opponent occur before the Christmas break…The Jets are 1-2-0 in home-and-home games.
- Winnipeg has allowed at least three goals in eight of their first 10 games.
- All four of the Jets wins have come in games in which they were outshot (4-2-0)…The Jets are 0-4 when outshooting their opposition.
- Winnipeg is 13-for-14 (93%) on the penalty kill in its last three games.
- Tonight is the third of five consecutive games for the Jets against Eastern Conference opponents…The Jets are 2-3-0 against Eastern teams this season.
- Winnipeg is outscoring its opposition 14-7 in third periods and overtime, but have been outscored 14-4 in second periods this season.
- Winnipeg has lost back-to-back games on three occasions this season, but haven't had a losing streak reach three games.