Video: PRE-GAME | JetsTV Road Report
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Two days after recording his first point and first goal as a member of the Winnipeg Jets, defenceman Dmitry Kulikov wants to keep building on that performance tonight as the team wraps up a three-game road trip against the Vancouver Canucks.
"Usually when things go well, and you don't get points, it kind of gets in your head. For me it felt good to get it out of the way early," Kulikov said, adding the win on Monday helped raise the spirits in the room. "It definitely made us feel better to get a big win, and moving on to these couple days, we got to enjoy ourselves and get to know each other a little better. It was a good team-building time."
Head coach Paul Maurice won't make any changes to the line-up that earned those two points in Edmonton.
That includes giving Connor Hellebuyck his second straight start of the regular season, after the 24-year-old turned aside 37 of 39 Oilers shots on Monday.
"I didn't think he was lucky in the game against Edmonton. I thought he was really solid," Maurice said of Hellebuyck. "He did a lot of work this summer on his physical strength. He looks stronger in the net. He's able to hold his body position a bit longer in the net, there's not nearly as much movement in his game.
"I liked the way the group played, so it was a pretty easy decision."
Video: PRE-GAME | Dmitry Kulikov
The Jets held an optional skate at Rogers Arena today following the full-team practice yesterday. Should the lines remain unchanged, the forward lines and defensive pairs may look like this:
The Canucks will have a change to their line-up after dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.
Brock Boeser will see his first action of the regular season on a line with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. Alexander Burmistrov will sit after playing in the first two games. Jacob Markstrom will start in goal.
Video: PRE-GAME | Bryan Little
Thanks to a season opening 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers, the Canucks have three of a possible four points under new head coach Travis Green.
"They play like Travis Green played. They're hard on it and they compete real hard. Travis was a little bit like Mathieu Perreault, real aggressive guy, good stick, real smart," said Maurice, who coached Green in Toronto during the 2006-2007 season. "So not a lot of easy puck movement up and down the ice (tonight), a bit of a grinder, and quick strike and quick transition type of team. It should be a good intense game."
While the Jets have focused on improving how they handle adversity within the game, Bryan Little has liked how his team has controlled the play early in first periods. Overall, Winnipeg has outscored their opponents 5-1 in the opening 20 minutes in the past two outings.
"We want to come out the same way," said Little. "We want to keep those good starts coming and try to maintain it for a full 60. That's the goal tonight again. Get off to a quick start and go from there."
Puck drop is set for 9 pm CT.
Video: PRE-GAME | Tyler Myers
Dustin Byfuglien won't play tonight as he continues to work his way back from a lower-body injury. The big defenceman did take part in the optional skate this morning.
"He'll push today, and if he can get back on the ice tomorrow and feel strong, he'll possibly be an option for us against Carolina," said Maurice.
Matt Hendricks skated for the second consecutive day away from the group, but Maurice says the forward's lower-body injury is also progressing.
"He's getting better. Not quite day-to-day," said Maurice. "I don't know if we're looking at Saturday, but the next three or four days we'll get a better handle on it."
Check back later today for a full report from the morning skate.
- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
JETS GAME NOTES
The Winnipeg Jets finish a three-game western Canadian road trip tonight at Rogers Arena against the Vancouver Canucks...The Jets defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Monday night to pick up their first win of the season...Following tonight's game, the Jets return to Winnipeg where they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night, in the first game of a three-game home stand.
Monday's win in Edmonton evened Winnipeg's record against Pacific Division teams to 1-1-0 this season...The Jets went 7-13-1 against Pacific Division teams last season...Winnipeg went 2-10-0 against the four Pacific Division teams that made the playoffs - Anaheim, Edmonton, San Jose and Calgary.
The Jets franchise is 63-83-36 all-time in October, including 25-28-8 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.
Strength of Early Schedule
The Jets go up against some of the top teams in the NHL right out of the gate...Of Winnipeg's 11 games in October, nine are against teams that made the playoffs last season...Included in the October schedule are two tilts against the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 26 at Pittsburgh and Oct. 29 in Winnipeg...The Jets play the 50-game winner from a year ago Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 17 in Winnipeg and Oct. 27 in Columbus...In total, Winnipeg's 11 October opponents had a combined record of 543-300-106 last season.
Special Teams TOI Battle
The Jets have spent more time on the power play than the penalty kill this season...The Jets have played 27:51 on the power play, which is the second most in the NHL this season...The Jets have played 19:48 shorthanded for a difference of 8:03, which is tied for second-best in the NHL.
Nikolaj Ehlers scored a natural hat trick on Monday against the Edmonton Oilers, becoming the first player to do so since the Jets franchise relocated to Winnipeg in 2011...It was the sixth hat trick already scored in the NHL this season and eighth by a member of the Jets since 2011...He joins Patrik Laine (3) as the only members of Jets 2.0 that have scored multiple hat tricks...Ehlers' other hat trick happened Jan. 26/16 vs. ARI.
Mark Scheifele has scored in all three of Winnipeg's games to start the season, matching his three-game goal streak to start the 2015-16 season...According to Elias, Scheifele is one of five active players who has scored in the first three games of a season more than once during this career.
Nikolaj Ehlers (3G, 1A), Mark Scheifele (1G, 2A) and Blake Wheeler (3A) each had at least three points against the Oilers on Monday...The Jets didn't have three players register three points in the same game all of last season...It's the third time this season in the NHL that three teammates have had at least three points in the same game.
Defenceman Tucker Poolman made his NHL debut on Monday in Edmonton, playing 14:30 and blocking two shots...He is the third Jets defenceman in the last three seasons to make his NHL debut, joining Josh Morrissey and Nelson Nogier...Meanwhile, eight forwards have made their NHL debut with the Jets during the last three seasons.