Video: PREGAME | JetsTV Road Report
LOS ANGELES, California - Two nights after a road trip opening loss to the Nashville Predators, the Winnipeg Jets will go with the same line-up against the Los Angeles Kings tonight, with one exception.
Steve Mason will make his sixth start in goal tonight, as the Jets (12-5-3) try to even their record on the road trip against the Kings.
"We liked the way he was trending. He deserved to get back in after his last game," said head coach Paul Maurice, referring to Mason's 29-save effort in Arizona on Nov. 11.
"We've got four (games) here in six on the road, but they're wrapped with a home game and heavy travel. We fly home to play Minnesota, then back out to Colorado, then back out on a plane the next day.
"Having two fresh goalies for the next two or three weeks is going to be really important."
Video: PREGAME | Mark Scheifele
The Jets are 5-1-1 when coming off a loss this season, and are emphasizing a full 60-minute effort tonight, after allowing three goals in the middle frame against the Predators gave the divisional foe a 4-1 lead the Jets couldn't climb out of.
"We had some breakdowns that cost us," said Bryan Little. "We've been really good at regrouping after losses this year, and we're looking to keep that going.
"No one is hitting the panic button. We're going to go in with the approach that we're going to play a hard road game for 60 minutes."
With Mason in goal, the rest of the Jets lines at today's pre-game skate Staples Center looked like this:
As for the Pacific Divison leading Kings (12-7-2), the 4-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday was the team's fifth in their last six games.
Video: PREGAME | Adam Lowry
But the Jets know this is also the same Kings team that started the season 9-1-1, and have a number of familiar weapons playing well. Anze Kopitar leads the Kings in goals (9), assists (14), and points (23), with his winger Dustin Brown right behind him in both categories.
But the threats don't stop there, Mark Scheifele says the Jets have to keep an eye on 2016 Norris Trophy winner Drew Doughty in both ends of the ice.
"He's got a good shot from the point. He knows how to get into that number four hole coming up the ice. He's really good at that," said Scheifele.
"The biggest thing for us is you have to know where he is, be cognizant of when you're on the ice with him. Just know if he's coming up the ice, know where he is. If you're that left winger you have to be aware of where he's going to jump. If he's going to the middle, if he's going to stay on the boards, he's a pretty smart player at picking his spots."
The Kings will be without Marion Gaborik (lower-body), Jeff Carter (lower-body), and Kyle Clifford (upper-body) tonight, while Winnipeg's Toby Enstrom will miss his second game due to the lower body injury sustained in the win over New Jersey.
Video: PREGAME | Bryan Little
Maurice says Chiarot filled in nicely for the veteran defenceman in his first action since Oct. 20.
"For being out as long as he (was), he was just fine," said Maurice. "He kept his game simple, closed the gap, and tried to be a physical player. The games we're going to play tonight, really the next one for sure, and maybe the next three, are built into his style of game. So he should have some success."
Puck drop is set for 9:30 pm CT.
Tonight's game will also be special for Lowry, whose father Dave - a veteran of over 1,000 NHL games - is one of the Kings assistant coaches under John Stevens.
"It's not too often the last few years, especially with him coaching in the Western League, I haven't seen him a whole lot during the hockey season. It was nice to see them and get a home cooked meal," said Lowry. "We talked about where my game is at and things like that, and how he's enjoying it down here. My mom and him are really enjoying LA, and where they're living, and all the activities that come with being in a nice climate.
"We didn't talk much about the game. We'll both just enjoy battling against each other tonight, and hopefully we get this one."
After only getting the opportunity to play against his dad once in the Western Hockey League, Lowry is excited to get another shot at it tonight.
"They beat us 2-1. Obviously I'd like to come out on the right side this time," Lowry said.
"It's a unique opportunity. We're happy to see him back in the NHL. He's worked a long time, and worked hard to get back here since he left. I'm very happy for him."
- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
JETS GAME NOTES
The Winnipeg Jets continue a four-game road trip tonight in California against the Los Angeles Kings...The Jets lost 5-3 to the Nashville Predators on Monday night to begin the road trip...The loss ended Winnipeg's four-game winning streak...The road trip continues this weekend as Winnipeg visits the Anaheim Ducks on Friday and San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Against the Pacific
The Jets continue a stretch of seeing a Pacific Division opponent in six of nine games this week in California...Winnipeg is 4-2-0 against the Pacific Division this season, with both of their losses coming on the road...The Jets were 7-13-1 against the Pacific last season, which marked their first losing record against the Pacific since realignment for the 2013-14 season.
The Jets went 1-for-2 on the power play Monday against Nashville, marking the seventh time in their last nine games they scored a power play goal even as they didn't have a power play opportunity against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday...The Jets are 34.5% (10-for-29) on the power play in November, which is third in the NHL...Winnipeg's 10 power play goals this month are tied with the Calgary Flames for the most in the NHL.
The Jets tied a franchise record for most wins in their first 20 games of a season...Winnipeg's 12 wins this season tied the 12 wins the Atlanta Thrashers accomplished in their first 20 games of the 2006-07 season...This year's edition of the Jets have an identical 12-5-3 record as the 2006-07 edition of the Thrashers, who went on to win the Southeast Division...Since relocating to Winnipeg in 2011, only once have the Jets had a losing record in their first 20 games, going 8-9-3 during the 2011-12 season...The Jets have been at .500 in three other seasons, while they were 10-9-1 during the 2012-13 season and 10-7-3 during the 2014-15 season.
Back with a Vengeance
After missing 11 games due to injury, Mathieu Perreault has returned to the Jets line-up by scoring four goals in a three-game goal scoring streak...He also has an assist in the three games for five points and has back-to-back multi-point games...His two goals against Nashville on Thursday marked his fourth multi-goal game as a member of the Jets...It was his first multi-goal game since his first season with the Jets back in 2014-15 when he had three multi-goal games in a span of 37 days (Dec. 23/14-Jan. 29/15).
Wall of Helle
Despite allowing five goals against Nashville, goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is tied for eighth in the NHL with a .925 save percentage...He's allowed two goals or less in 11 of his 15 starts this season...He has 11 quality starts this season, which is one off the NHL lead of 12...Showing his improvement over last season, Hellebuyck has 7.20 goals saved above average this season, compared to -9.96 last season - an improvement of 17.16...Hellebuyck's .800 win percentage is second in the NHL among goalies that have made at least 10 starts.
Top 10 Duo
Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler are one of three teammate duos in the top 10 in NHL scoring...Scheifele (11G, 14A) and Wheeler (5G, 20A) are tied for sixth in scoring with 25 points...Wheeler is also tied for third in the NHL with 20 assists, while Scheifele is tied for ninth in goals with 11.