SCOTTSDALE, Arizona - After a successful stop at home, the Winnipeg Jets (6-7-1) are right back on the road to begin a quick two-game trip that begins tonight against the Arizona Coyotes (5-7-0).
The Jets are flying high following an 8-2 win Tuesday night over the Central Division rival Dallas Stars. Six Jets had multi-point nights in the game, including the top line of Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, and Nikolaj Ehlers.
The trio have combined for 23 points in the last three games.
"We've found some good chemistry on and off the ice, and when you have guys like Mark and Patrik that can put it in from pretty much every angle, it makes it easier," said Ehlers, who has 11 points in 14 games this season.
"Overall we've been playing really well. We've been using our speed really well. The team has come together more I think."
Video: PREGAME | Nikolaj Ehlers
While everything has been going right offensively for that line - so much so that 23-year-old Scheifele and 18-year-old Laine lead the NHL in points (18) and goals (11) respectively - Ehlers says all the focus can't be in the offensive end.
"We don't want to get too offensive. Even though that's the kind of players we are," said Ehlers. "I think we've been playing really well defensively which has created our offence. So of course it's exciting to go out there and play with these two guys."
Head coach Paul Maurice will go with the same line-up tonight as the Jets take on an Arizona squad that has won three of their last four games, and has gone 4-2-0 since starting the regular season 1-5-0.
The match-up also opens the third of the 14 sets of back-to-back games the Jets will play this season.
"You have a mindset that you know you're going back-to-back, but that can't be your original plan. How you come off the bench the first two or three rotations is pretty standard in every game," Maurice said. "The shift length, being able to stay in a short shift environment, the recovery stays strong. Usually your energy across the bench is better. That's the area we look at more than anything on back-to-back."
Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice
Connor Hellebuyck will start in goal for the fourth consecutive game tonight. The Commerce, MI native has a .905 save percentage this season, and is coming off making 28 saves in the 30 shots he faced against Dallas.
"Two of his last three games have been very strong…Now he has, at least the mental feeling, that he's in a bit of a rhythm and he's in a bit of a roll," said Maurice.
"Finding the right rhythm sometimes is a challenge. That's the things that we talk about in the coach's office."
Tonight is only the second time the Jets have faced a Pacific Division opponent this season, with the only other being the 3-0 loss to Edmonton at the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic in October.
Ehlers is prepared for the challenge the Coyotes bring. A challenge he believes starts with Arizona's blue line, led by Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who is tied for the team lead in goals with five.
"They're defence is pretty good. They've got some good guys back there. They've got some young players up front that can make things happen," said Ehlers. "If we just look at ourselves and play the way we've been playing the last six or seven games, we've got a good chance tonight."
- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
Video: PREGAME | Brandon Tanev
JETS GAME NOTES
The Winnipeg Jets visit the Arizona Coyotes tonight in the first of back-to-back games on this two-game road trip…The Jets beat the Dallas Stars 8-2 on Tuesday night…Six Jets had multi-point games against the Stars, including four-point nights from Patrik Laine (3g, 1a) and Mark Scheifele (2g, 2a)…The Coyotes have started November by winning three of their first four games…Winnipeg's road trip continues Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche…The Jets are back in Winnipeg on Sunday for a matinee against the Los Angeles Kings.
Tonight's game is only Winnipeg's second game against a Pacific Division opponent this season…The Jets lost 3-0 to the Edmonton Oilers at the 2016 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic in Winnipeg…After the Jets play the Kings on Sunday, they won't play a Pacific Division team again until Dec. 1 when the Oilers make their second trip to Winnipeg this season…Last season, the Jets went 12-8-1 against Pacific Division teams last season.
Second Period Outburst
Winnipeg scored four goals in the second period against Dallas on Tuesday, which matched a season-high for most goals scored in a period this season…It also nearly matched the total amount of goals the Jets had scored in the second period in the first 13 games, as Winnipeg had five second period goals prior to Tuesday's game…The Jets are still being outscored 22-9 in second periods this season, which is the most goals allowed.
Out in Front
Tuesday marked the third time this season the Jets took a lead into the third period and all three have been wins - Oct. 27 vs DAL (4-1 W), Oct. 28 at COL (1-0 W) and Nov. 8 vs. DAL (8-2)…The Jets are outscoring their opposition 13-3 in games in which they take a lead into the third period…Winnipeg is one of 15 teams in the NHL to have an unblemished record when leading after the second period.
Power Play Clicks
The Jets power play scored a season-high three goals on five opportunities on Tuesday against the Stars…It marked the first time since Feb. 21 at PHI (5-4 OTL) the Jets scored three power play goals in a game…It was the 40th time the Jets franchise scored three or more power play goals in game, but just the third time since relocating to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season.
The Amazing Laine
Rookie Patrik Laine is taking the NHL by storm through the first part of the season, leading the NHL in goals with 11…He is the only NHL rookie since fellow countryman Teemu Selanne was one of three players in the 1992-93 season to score 11 goals in his first 14 games…After his hat trick against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 8, Laine became the fourth player in the NHL's modern era (since 1943-44) to record multiple hat tricks within his first 14 games and became the fourth player in NHL history to have multiple hat tricks before his 19th birthday, joining the likes of Dale Hawerchuk (1981-82).
Laine Stacks Up
With 15 points (11g, 4a) in his first 14 games, Patrik Laine is finding the scoresheet more frequently than most of the recent forwards that have won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's best rookie…Below is the stats through the first 14 games of the season for the last seven forwards that have won the Calder Trophy since 2007.
- Tuesday was the ninth time in franchise history the Jets scored eight or more goals in a game and was one away from tying a team record nine goals in a game, which happened Nov. 12/05 at CAR (9-0 W) and Oct. 27/11 at PHI (9-8 W).
- Winnipeg has scored four or more goals in five of their six wins, but have also given up three or more goals in three of those games…The Jets are third in the NHL with an average of 4.7 goals scored in wins and are also giving up the third most goals against in wins at 2.6.
- Winnipeg took 42 minutes in penalties on Tuesday, which marked the sixth time in franchise history the team has 40 or more penalty minutes in a game…It was the first time it happened since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg.