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GAME DAY: Jets, Blue Jackets conclude season series

6:00pm CT - TV: TSN3; Radio: TSN 1290

by WinnipegJets.com Staff @NHLJets / WinnipegJets.com

COLUMBUS, OH - The Winnipeg Jets look to get back in the win column tonight as they square off with Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Back on Oct. 17th, the Jackets came into Bell MTS Place and handed the Jets a 5-2 loss. Since then, the Jets have played better beating Minnesota 4-3 and then getting a point from the Penguins in a 2-1 OT decision last night in Pittsburgh.

"Two quicker games for sure," said Head Coach Paul Maurice. "That's the challenge in here on back-to-back (nights) is that speed. With that game plan, they (Columbus) will be very, very quick. In a lot of ways they're similar to Pittsburgh; slightly different skill sets but Columbus certainly has their own, are really aggressive on the puck, and very active on the back end."

After watching the game tape from Thursday, Maurice added some thoughts on the giveaway from Patrik Laine in overtime which led to Phil Kessel scoring the winning goal on a breakaway.

"I tell you what, Patty Laine is going to try and make that pass all day long and so is any other player in the National Hockey League. He makes that pass and Tyler Myers is coming right down the pipe with (Blake) Wheeler back door, so I've got no problem with the decision."

Since the Jets did not have a morning skate, there were no formal line rushes and Maurice was asked if there would be any changes to the lineup from Thursday night. He said that he didn't think so.

Here are the projected forward line combinations and D pairs. We'll keep an eye on warmup and report any changes, if necessary:

Connor - Scheifele - Wheeler
Ehlers - Little - Laine
Tanev - Copp- Matthias
Lemieux - Hendricks - Armia

Morrissey - Trouba
Enstrom - Byfuglien
Kulikov - Myers

Steve Mason, who is 0-3 with a 5.96 goals-against average and an .846 save percentage, will get another shot at the Blue Jackets after taking a 5-2 loss to his former team earlier this month.

After being traded to Philadelphia in April of 2013, Mason needed four appearances to get his first win with the Flyers. Good omen?

"He's made big saves in all three of his games; he's been solid," Maurice said. "It was a volume (of shots) issue for me. It got to a point where he couldn't keep them all out, so we need a better game in front of him."

- Jamie Thomas, WinnipegJets.com

JETS GAME NOTES

Tonight's Game

The Winnipeg Jets play the second of two games in as many nights tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets...The Jets lost 2-1 in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night in the first half of back-to-back games...Following tonight's game, the Jets return to Winnipeg to host the Penguins on Sunday night at Bell MTS Place.

Jets vs. Blue Jackets Notes

- The Jets have won six of the last nine meetings against the Blue Jackets.
- The road team has won the last three games between the Jets and Blue Jackets.
- The Jets are 10-for-30 (33.3%) on the power play in their last nine games against Columbus and have a power play goal in seven of the nine games.
- Bryan Little has 12 points (6g, 6a) in 12 career games against Columbus.
- This is the 11th meeting between the Jets and Blue Jackets since the Jets relocated to Winnipeg...The Jets hold a 6-4 advantage in the 10 games.
 
Effective PK

After allowing four power play goals in the first two games, the Jets have gone 16-for-19 (84.2%) on the penalty kill in their last six games, including four-for-four last night in Pittsburgh...The Jets haven't allowed a power play goal in three of the six games and haven't allowed multiple power play goals in a game since the second game of the season.

Close Games

The Jets are 2-0-1 in one-goal games this season...Three of Winnipeg's last four games have been decided by one goal...Winnipeg was 18-11-7 in one-goal games last season...All three of Winnipeg's losses this season have come by three goals or more.

Back-to-Back

This road trip is the first back-to-back set for the Jets this season...Winnipeg plays nine back-to-backs this season, which is the least number of back-to-backs in the NHL this season...Last season the Jets had 13 back-to-back sets, going 6-6-1 in the first game and 6-5-2 in the second game for an overall record 12-11-3.

Frightful October

The Jets franchise is 66-84-37 all-time in October, including 28-29-9 since the team relocated to Winnipeg...In their 17th season, the franchise has posted a winning record in October five times (2003, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2015)...The Jets went 7-3-1 in October 2015 for a .652 points percentage, which is a franchise best.

Hendricks Debuts

Veteran Matt Hendricks, who is the oldest member of the Jets at 36 years old, made his season debut last night in Pittsburgh...He went 7-for-10 in the faceoff circle and blocked three shots, while leading all Jets players with 4:11 of shorthanded ice time...Hendricks joins Bryan Little (15-of-21, Oct. 17 vs. CBJ) as the only two Jets players to take at least 10 faceoffs in a game this season and win at least 70 percent of them.

Wheelin'

Jets captain Blake Wheeler led all Jets players with 24:10 TOI last night...It's the 13th time in his career he's played more than 24 minutes in a game...He logged 24 or more minutes in a game four times last season.

Helle Stands Tall

While his personal four-game winning streak came to an end last night, goaltender Connor Hellebuyck remains undefeated in regulation (4-0-1)...Among goaltenders that have played in at least six games, Hellebuyck is sixth in the NHL with a .931 save percentage...His previous best save percentage is .918, which he had as a rookie during the 2015-16 season

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