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GAME DAY: Jets finish up road trip in Arizona

9:00pm CT - TV: Sportsnet; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

**Note: Head coach Paul Maurice will meet with the media to discuss more details about tonight's line-up at 6:30 pm CT.

GLENDALE, Arizona - With the memory of last night's 5-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights fresh on their minds, the Winnipeg Jets arrived in Arizona in the wee hours of Saturday morning, anxious to get rid of that losing feeling.

Connor Hellebuyck may have summed it up best.

"I always call them redemption games," he said. "No matter what, if you lose, you get right back on the horse, and try again."

While Hellebuyck won't get the start tonight in the first meeting of the season between the Jets and the Arizona Coyotes - that job goes to Steve Mason - the Jets are looking forward to an opportunity to end the three-game road trip on the right note.

The Coyotes (2-13-3) are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Central Division leading St. Louis Blues. It's the first meeting of the season between the two clubs, with Arizona coming to Winnipeg on Tuesday night.

The Jets didn't hold a morning skate in Glendale as they prepare for the second half of a back-to-back for the second time this season.

Video: WPG Recap: Laine, Lowry tally in 5-2 loss in Vegas

The first back-to-back of the season also came on the road, when the Jets dropped two overtime games by identical scores of 2-1 to Pittsburgh and Columbus respectively.

Mason got the start in the loss to Columbus, but made 35 saves on the 37 shots he faced in that loss. Head coach Paul Maurice believes getting game action last night in Vegas can only help the veteran netminder going into tonight's game.

"It was good to get him in. He made a (heck) of a save (on Jonathan Marchessault)," said Maurice. "So he's got some game action to get himself ready."

An update on the availability of defenceman Josh Morrissey is expected to come closer to game time, when Maurice meets with reporters at 6:30 pm Central time.

The 22-year-old blocked a shot off his leg in Friday's loss to the Golden Knights and didn't return.

But regardless of if Morrissey is in the line-up or not, the Jets want to get back to the game that had them at 5-0-3 in their last eight games before last night.

"It's very difficult to be good defensively off turnovers," Maurice said of the team's 13 giveaways last night. "You're moving as four and five guys in one direction, and pucks get knocked down, they don't get through, you slow your game down to make plays that aren't there to be made. You just look loose.

"We weren't as tight, clearly our gap wasn't as good as it has been."

So far the Jets are 2-1-0 following a loss in regulation this season, and look to improve on that record tonight in their only visit to Gila River Arena this season.

Puck drop is set for 9 pm CT.

- Mitchell Clinton,


Tonight's Game

The Winnipeg Jets finish their three-game road trip tonight night against the Arizona Coyotes, which is the front half of a home-and-home set...After starting the road trip with a 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Monday, the Jets lost 5-2 to the Vegas Golden Knights last night...After tonight, the Jets welcome the Coyotes on Tuesday night when Dale Hawerchuk will be inducted into the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame.

Jets vs. Coyotes Notes

- The home team has won seven of the last eight games between the Jets and Coyotes.
- The Jets are 1-for-35 (2.9%) on the power play in their last 10 games against the Coyotes, but have three shorthanded goals in the 10 games.
- The Jets have won five of their last seven games against the Coyotes and 10 of their last 13 contests.
- Dustin Byfuglien has a team-high 20 points (9g, 11a) against the Coyotes.
- Nikolaj Ehlers has six points (5g, 1a) in six career games against the Coyotes.


This weekend is the second 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...With last night's loss, the Jets are 0-1-1 in the first game of back-to-backs, while they enter tonight's game 0-0-1 in the second game...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.

Unbeaten Streak Snapped

Winnipeg's eight game (5-0-3) streak of points earned ended last night in Vegas, one game shy of a franchise record...The then- Atlanta Thrashers had points in nine straight games from Dec. 9-28, 2005, going 6-0-3...During the eight-game streak, the Jets outscored their opponents 28-17.

Against the Pacific

Tonight is the second of three consecutive games the Jets play against Pacific Division opponents...The Jets are in a stretch of seeing a Pacific Division opponent in six of nine games - five of which are on the road...Winnipeg is 2-2-0 against the Pacific Division this season after picking up wins in Edmonton and Vancouver, but losing to Calgary during their first road trip of the season...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.

First Shorty Against

The Jets surrendered their first shorthanded goal against last night in Vegas...Heading to the game, the Jets were one of five teams in the NHL that hadn't given up a shorthanded goal against this season...Last season the Jets gave up six goals when on the power play.

Streaking Laine

Patrik Laine has a goal in four consecutive games for the first time in his career...It's the longest goal scoring streak by a member of the Jets this season...Laine had three three-game goal scoring streaks as a rookie last season.

Sweet Relief

Goaltender Steve Mason played the third period of last night's game, relieving starter Connor Hellebuyck, who had made five consecutive starts...Going back to Mason's last appearance - a 2-1 OTL Oct. 27 at CBJ - Mason has stopped 40 of 42 shots in his last two games.

Draw Master

Bryan Little won 13 of 15 face offs last night against the Golden Knights for an 87% winning percentage...It's the highest face off winning percentage he's had in his career when taking at least 15 face offs in a game...Little has won 59% (144 of 244) of his face offs this season, which is fifth in the NHL among players that have taken at least 200 draws.

Jets vs. Coyotes All-Time Records

Overall: 11-13-4
At MTS Centre: 7-0-0
At Gila River Arena: 3-6-2

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