Video: JetsTV Road Report
BROOKLYN, NY - A three-game road trip that became a two-game road trip comes to an end tonight as the Winnipeg Jets face off with the New York Islanders at Barclays Center.
"It feels like we've been on the road for a week and a half, and haven't played for a month, but it's only been two days," head coach Paul Maurice said. "This will be a physical contest tonight. They're a team that finishes a lot of hits, so that gets you into the game quick."
The Jets line-up will look slightly different than the one that took to the ice in Nashville on Monday night. Shawn Matthias and Jacob Trouba will not play, as both recover from upper body injuries.
As a result, Nic Petan draws back into the line-up, and skated on a line with Chris Thorburn and Marko Dano at the morning skate.
"I've been working extra after practice (and) before practice, working on little things. Just have to try and bring that to my game," said Petan. "Always in the back of your head you always want more production. But just a solid game, good defensively, good offensively, and play a full 200-foot game and try to get a win here."
Video: PREGAME | Nic Petan
Winnipeg has picked up points in eight of their last nine road games, including Monday's overtime loss to the Predators. Offensively the Jets rank sixth in the NHL in goals (206), but defenceman Josh Morrissey says the team's focus is on reducing the amount of chances they're giving up defensively.
"We had a couple of little mistakes (against Nashville) that probably were preventable. We learned from that," said Morrissey. "We watched some video. There are a few of those plays that we kind of hurt ourselves a little bit, and gave a high skill team some pretty good chances. Those are all things we're trying to work on and learn right now."
The Islanders hold the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference, though not by much. They're tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning with 77 points, but hold the tie breaker, thanks to having two more regulation/overtime wins than Tampa Bay.
Video: PREGAME | Josh Morrissey
"They had a really difficult start, and now they're grinding back into a tougher schedule," Maurice said of the Islanders. "They've had some players that got off to cold starts. Andrew Ladd now is closing in on that 20-25 (goals) range by the end of the year. They've had some young kids come up, and maybe they're a little more dynamic with a few of the young players that can skate and handle the puck really well."
Brock Nelson - fourth on the team in points with 38 - will play tonight after being a late scratch in New York's 3-2 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The win finished a back-to-back set with the Hurricanes, one that began with Carolina handing the Isles an 8-4 loss at Barclays Center.
Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice
Connor Hellebuyck (22-18-4 and a .907 save percentage) is expected to start for the Jets, while Thomas Greiss (24-15-4, .914 save percentage) will counter for the Islanders. Puck drop is set for 6 pm CT on TSN 3 and TSN 1290.
- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
JETS GAME NOTES
The Winnipeg Jets finish what is now a two-game road trip against the New York Islanders tonight…The Jets game against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday was postponed due to a severe winter storm and is now scheduled to be played on March 28…The Jets started the road trip with a 5-4 loss in overtime to the Nashville Predators on Monday night…Nikolaj Ehlers and Bryan Little each had two assists for the Jets against the Predators…The Islanders are coming off a 3-2 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday…Winnipeg starts a two-game homestand Sunday afternoon against the Minnesota Wild.
Video: PREGAME | Mathieu Perreault
Ending the Slide
With a 0-3-1 record in their last four games, the Jets have gone four games without a win for the fifth time this season…Winnipeg's longest winless slide of the season happened Nov. 17-25 when the Jets lost all five games of a road trip in regulation.
Beasts from the East
The Jets are 9-14-4 against Eastern Conference teams this season, including 2-8-2 against Metropolitan Division teams, which is the worst mark by a team in the Central Division…New Jersey and Carolina are the two Metropolitan teams the Jets have beat this season, both of which happened at home...Last season the Jets went 12-15-5 against the Eastern Conference.
The Road Ahead
The Jets are 10 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 12 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 9-10-3 this season against the teams they have remaining on their schedule…Winnipeg's tragic number for being eliminated from playoff contention is 14.
Special Teams Notes
- The Jets are 4-for-23 (17.4%) on the power play in their last six games.
- The Jets are 7-for-13 (53.8%) on the penalty kill in their last three games.
- The Jets have allowed a power play goal against in three straight games.
- Winnipeg has been shorthanded the most in the NHL this season at 242 times.
- The Jets have been shorthanded 79 times in the third period this season, which is the most in the league.
Rookie Lead Widens
Patrik Laine scored his 33rd goal of the season last night and continues to lead NHL rookies in scoring with 60 points (33g, 27a) in 62 games, which is five more points than Toronto's Auston Matthews in six less games…Laine is tied for third in NHL goal scoring this season and has scored the sixth most goals by an 18-year-old rookie in NHL history…Laine needs seven goals in Winnipeg's last 12 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 20 points (11g, 9a) in 18 games.
Love to Finnish
Finns Patrik Laine and Joel Armia scored back-to-back goals for the Jets Tuesday night against Nashville, marking the fourth time this season the pair of Finns have scored in the same game…In fact, in the last four games Armia has scored, Laine has scored as well…The duo is tied with Minnesota's Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu for the most goals by two Finnish teammates this season with 41…Playing on different lines, Laine and Armia have not had a point on the same goal this season.
Just the Hits
Rookie defenceman Josh Morrissey had five hits against the Predators Tuesday night…It marked sixth time this season he had at least five hits in a game…On the season, Morrissey has 131 hits, which is sixth among NHL rookies and third on the team.
Jets vs. Islanders All-Time Records
At Barclays Center: 0-1-0