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GAME DAY: Jets look to bounce back tonight vs. Panthers

6:30pm CT - TV: TSN3; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

Video: PREGAME | JetsTV Road Report

SUNRISE, Florida - Eric Comrie will make his second career NHL start in goal as the Winnipeg Jets take on the Florida Panthers tonight in the second game of a three-game road trip.

Comrie was recalled on Nov. 27 after Steve Mason sustained a concussion in a loss to San Jose, and head coach Paul Maurice says the 10 days Comrie has spent with the team have prepared him to get back in the net.

"He came up playing well, and now has had a little time with us to get used to the shooters at this level," Maurice said of Comrie, who is 8-4-1 with a 0.927 save percentage in the AHL this season.

"Connor (Hellebuyck) has played just a few more games than we would have liked originally with Steve's injury. We have an awful lot of hockey coming up ahead. Steve may be back soon, but we still don't know. So this is a good game for Eric to get into."

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice

The 22-year-old Comrie is treating tonight's outing like any other game, but adds that the 35 saves he made in his NHL debut last season against Columbus on Apr. 6 is something he can lean on.

"I have to treat it the same way. I can't look at it any differently. I think if you try and ramp up, you get too anxious and too ramped up, and you start making mistakes instead of being calm and just letting the game come to you," said Comrie.

"The more experience you get, the slower the game seems. In my third year (of professional hockey) it's really starting to click and starting to slow down for myself."

Adam Lowry remembers Comrie's performance in that 5-4 win over the Blue Jackets very well, especially because of the young goaltender's play to start the game.

"I think Columbus was outshooting us 11-1 and he held us in there and he played really well," said Lowry. "Hopefully we get off to a better start and allow him to settle into the game. He's a great kid, he works hard in practice. I think we're excited for him to get another opportunity and continue to grow his game."

Video: PREGAME | Adam Lowry

The Jets (17-7-4) are looking to get back in the win column after Tuesday's 5-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Besides the change in goal, the team won't make any changes up front, based on the line rushes at morning skate at BB&T Center:








Bouncing back after a loss is something the Jets have been successful at this season, going 7-1-1 following a setback in regulation or overtime so far.

Video: PREGAME | Eric Comrie

"I think leadership has been pretty good with that. There's a sense of urgency. You notice the last couple years the good teams, they don't really go on those losing streaks," said Jacob Trouba. "They'll drop one here or there, but they have a lot more winning streaks than losing streaks. You've got to have a little bit of urgency after you lose a game, and know that you have to bring a response."

Winnipeg isn't the only team with news in the goal crease, as the Panthers will be without Roberto Luongo for an extended period of time due to a lower-body injury. The five-time NHL All-Star suffered the injury in the second period a 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Monday.

Manitoba native James Reimer took over for Luongo in that game, stopping 16 of 19 shots, and is expected to get the call in goal for Florida tonight.

Video: PREGAME | Jacob Trouba

The Panthers are winless in their last three games, and sit 10;13-4, sit five points back of the Montreal Canadiens for third in the Atlantic Division.

"I think you're seeing a change over in identity and style of play. When I watch these guys play, it does look in some ways like San Jose. So Bob (Boughner)'s experience there with style of game and the skill level that they had there. Playing fast, changing sides in the offensive zone, really important back end involved in their play, they've got shooters back there, they've got guys that can skate the puck. It's reminiscent of those games, we see (San Jose) play a whole lot more, but that's the area they're headed, and they're headed in the right direction."

Puck drop is set for 6:30 pm CT.

- Mitchell Clinton,


Tonight's Game

The Winnipeg Jets continue a three-game Eastern Conference road trip tonight against the Florida Panthers...The Jets started the trip with a 5-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night, which ended a streak of four consecutive games in which the Jets earned a point (3-0-1)...The road trip finishes on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning...The Jets are back home at Bell MTS Place on Monday to welcome the Vancouver Canucks.  

Jets vs. Panthers Notes

- The Jets put their three-game losing streak in Florida to an end last season after a 4-1 win at the BB&T Center, after being outscored 12-5 in their previous three games there.
- Before their win last season, the last four wins for the Jets franchise in Florida had been in overtime or a shootout.
- The Jets are 7-6-0 against the Panthers since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg.
- The Jets are 0-for-7 on the power play in their last three games against the Panthers.

Avoiding Back-to-Back Losses
The Jets are trying to avoid back-to-back losses in regulation for the first time since their first two games of the season - Oct. 4 vs. TOR 7-2 and Oct. 7 at CGY 6-3...The only other time Winnipeg has lost back-to-back games this season was a pair of overtime losses - Oct. 26 at PIT 2-1 and Oct. 27 at CBJ 2-1...The Jets are 7-1-1 games following a loss (regulation or overtime) this season.

Lopsided Losses (and wins)

Tuesday's loss in Detroit was Winnipeg's seventh regulation loss of the season, which is tied for the second fewest in the NHL this season...The regulation losses haven't been kind to the Jets though, as Winnipeg has been outscored 37-13 in the seven games...The Jets have lost six of the seven games by three goals or more...Conversely, the Jets have outscored their opponents 71-25 in their 16 wins in regulation and have won 11 of the 16 games by three goals or more.

Playing with Power

The Jets scored their lone goal against Detroit on the power play and are third in the NHL with a 26.7 power play percentage for the season...The surge has been propelled by Winnipeg going 13-for-37 (35.1%) on the power play during its last nine games, which includes four multi power play goal games.

Facing the East

The Jets continue a string of four consecutive games against an Eastern Conference team with this road trip...The Jets are 5-3-3 against the Eastern Conference this season, but are 1-2-1 against the Atlantic Division.  

Get in the Flow

Through December, the Jets play virtually every other day...Aside from the three-day Christmas break, the only other time the Jets have back-to-back days without a game before the new year is Dec. 12-13...Winnipeg is 13-2-2 when having one day off between games, while the team is 3-4-1 when having two days off or more between games.

Power Patrick

Patrik Laine scored Winnipeg's only goal on Tuesday on the power play to run his power play goal streak to three games...He leads the NHL with nine power play goals this season...The nine power play goals match the nine power play goals he had as a rookie last season...He had seven power play goals in his first 27 games last season and has nine in 28 games this season...Tuesday's goal was the 50th of Laine's career, as he became the sixth player in the NHL to score 50 goals during the last two seasons.

Excelling in the Circle

Adam Lowry won 12-of-19 (71%) of his faceoffs on Tuesday, marking the second time in three games he's won 12 faceoffs...He's won at least half of his faceoffs in each of his last five games, going 47-for-77 (61%)...On the season, Lowry has won 53.4% of his faceoffs, which is a career high.

First Star

Captain Blake Wheeler was named the NHL's first star of the week on Monday after recording 10 points (2G, 8A) in four games last week in leading the Jets to a 3-0-1 record...The Jets captain leads the NHL in assists with 29 and sits tied for third in the league in points scoring with 36...Wheeler scored and added a pair of assists in a 7-4 win vs. Minnesota on Nov. 27 before being held off the scoresheet in the club's 3-2 overtime loss on Nov. 29 at Colorado...The Plymouth, MN native then recorded a trio of assists in Winnipeg's 7-4 over Vegas on Dec. 1 before capping the week with a goal and another three assists in the 5-0 victory vs. Ottawa on Dec. 3...Wheeler is the first player in the NHL to record three four-point games this season...His assist on Tuesday extended his point streak to three games (1G, 7A).

Jets vs. Panthers All-Time Records

Overall: 47-27-13
At Bell MTS Place: 6-2-1
At BB&T Center: 22-17-5

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