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GAME DAY: Jets look to get back on track vs. Kings

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

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 /

PREGAME | Paul Maurice

PREGAME | Paul Maurice

Head Coach Paul Maurice on Hellebuyck's struggles, Hutchinson getting the start tonight and more

  • 04:04 •

Video: JetsTV Road Report

LOS ANGELES, CA - A three-game road trip continues tonight in Los Angeles for the Winnipeg Jets, as the club looks to rebound from a 4-3 loss in Arizona last night.

It will also be the first game since the team held a player's only meeting following the setback at Gila River Arena last night.

"It's important that that happens. At the end of it they're in this together, so it's important that they stay together," said head coach Paul Maurice. "You don't want an empty room. You can have a tough loss where your room gets empty. Where you have a couple, you need that room to stay together."

Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice

The Jets gave up 11 goals over the span of four periods dating back to Wednesday's 7-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, before rallying in the final 40 minutes against the Coyotes.

After a scoreless second period, goals from Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler cut a 4-1 deficit to 4-3, but that was as close as the Jets would get.

"I don't think it was a whole lot different. It feels different," Maurice said of the final two periods. "We can be better in all the small areas of the game. They never quit. Can we do better things? Sure. Can we get better individual performances out of people? Yeah. But they didn't quit. They kept competing, kept fighting right until the very end. That means a lot right now."

Now the team's focus shifts to the Los Angeles Kings, who hold down the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference, three points clear of the Jets. Los Angeles is 2-2 on their current seven-game home stand, including a 5-1 win over St. Louis on Thursday.

Video: POSTGAME | Shawn Matthias

The game will also complete the eight set of back-to-back games Winnipeg has played this season. Overall, the Jets are 4-2-1 in the back half of those situations.

Shawn Matthias, who notched his sixth goal of the season in last night's loss, said the team can learn from the goals they scored in the third period, especially as the playoff race heats up in the second half of the season.

"You look at the goals we scored, they're all goals that are either going hard to the net, being in front, screens, tips. That's the way we have to play," he said. "It's a tough league. There are a lot of good players. It's hard to score in this league. They're not always pretty, especially this time of year when teams are fighting for playoff spots. It gets ugly out there, and you have to embrace that."

Video: POSTGAME | Mark Stuart

In his first action since Nov. 29, Stuart played 15:05 and blocked four shots to go along with his first goal of the season. He said the team needs to play like they did in the final 40 minutes more often to climb back in the playoff race.

"It's just consistency. You have to find it," he said. "We talk about it, but it's about going out there and doing it. It's time to get over that hump. We're a good team. We just have to find a way to be a good team every night."

Puck drop at the Staples Center is 9 pm CT.

- Mitchell Clinton,

Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler


Tonight's Game

The Jets ­visit STAPLES Center tonight to play the Los Angeles Kings in Winnipeg's second game in as many nights…The Jets lost 4-3 to the Arizona Coyotes last night to begin this three-game road trip…Shawn Matthias, Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler scored last night for Winnipeg…The Kings come into tonight's game off a 5-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday and are in the midst of a seven-game homestand…The Jets finish the road trip Monday afternoon against the San Jose Sharks.

Jets vs. Kings Notes

- The Jets have won five of their last six games against the Kings, including three in a shootout.
- All four of the Jets franchise's wins in Los Angeles have come in overtime or a shootout - Dec. 19/00 7-6 OTW, Feb. 16/09 7-6 SOW, Jan. 10/15 5-4 SOW and Apr. 9/16 4-3 SOW.
- The Jets franchise has allowed at least three goals against in all 11 games against the Kings at STAPLES Center, including four goals or more in nine of the 11 games.
- The Jets are 7-4-0 against the Kings since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season.
- Blake Wheeler has four two-point games (3g, 5a) in his last six games against the Kings.
- Mark Scheifele has three assists in his last three games against the Kings.
- Nikolaj Ehlers had three points (2g, 1a) in three games against Los Angeles last season as a rookie.

Back at It

The Jets play their second of three back-to-back sets on their January schedule this weekend against Arizona and Los Angeles…Winnipeg also plays back-to-back at home on Jan. 23-24 against Anaheim and San Jose…The Jets are 4-3-1 in the first game of back-to-backs and 4-2-1 in the second game of back-to-back games this season.

January Goals

The Jets are second in the NHL with 22 goals scored in January…Winnipeg is scoring 3.7 goals per game in January, compared to 2.7 goals per game for the season…Winnipeg has scored at least three goals in five of their six games this month…The Jets 22 goals in January have been scored by 12 different players…On the season, the Jets are tied for eighth in the NHL with 120 goals scored.

Pacific Sun

Tonight is the third of seven games the Jets play against Pacific Division teams in a 16-day span (Jan. 9-24)…With last night's loss, the Jets are 4-6-0 against Pacific Division teams this season…Last season, the Jets went 12-8-1 against Pacific Division opponents.

Saturday Night's Not Alright

The Jets are 1-5-0 in Saturday games this season, all of which have been on the road…Winnipeg has been outscored 26-14 in the six Saturday games…The Jets play their first Saturday home game next weekend against the St. Louis Blues.

What Time is It?

With tonight's game on the west coast, the Jets play complete a tour of playing five games in all four of North America's time zones in an eight day span...Each of the five games also begin at a different time in Winnipeg…Below is the breakdown.

Ehlers Continues to Streak

Nikolaj Ehlers is on a seven-game, nine-point point streak (5g, 4a), which is the longest point streak by a member of the Jets this season…It's also the longest point streak of Ehlers' career.

Tandem Effort

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson has relieved Connor Hellebuyck in each of the last two games…It's the first time since the Jets franchise relocated to Winnipeg in 2011 that the team has used two goaltenders in back-to-back games…Hutchinson and Hellebuyck, who are the only two goalies to see action for the Jets this season, have played in the same game seven times this season.


Shawn Matthias scored his sixth goal of the season last night…All six of his goals have been the first goal the Jets have scored in each game and Matthias has scored the first goal overall in five of those games…The Jets are 3-3-0 when Matthias scores in a game this season.

Special Teams Notes

- The Jets are 3-for-17 (17.6%) on the power play in January.  
- The Jets are 14-for-16 (87.5%) on the penalty kill in their last five games, but have given up a power play goal against in back-to-back games.

Quick Hits

- Blake Wheeler (2g, 2a) is on four-game point streak.
- Dustin Byfuglien leads all NHLers with 1,227:52 TOI this season and 27:17 TOI per game…He's the only player in the NHL to reach 1,200 minutes played so far this season.
- Chris Thorburn is tied for the NHL lead with nine major penalties this season, all of which are fighting majors.

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