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GAME DAY: Jets open three-game trip tonight in Calgary

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

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

Video: JetsTV Road Report

CALGARY, Alberta - For two days the Winnipeg Jets have answered for the 7-2 opening night loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tonight, the group wants to change the narrative as they open a three-game Western Canadian road trip against the Calgary Flames.

"That's hard to chew on for a couple days, but it certainly gets the focus of the group where you want it," said head coach Paul Maurice.

"We want to play as hard as we possibly can, and defend as hard as we possibly can, but we don't want to be running all over the ice to do it. Composure might be the word that we'll need in our game."

Video: PRE-GAME | Paul Maurice

This morning's line rushes had no changes to what the team used in practice on Thursday and Friday, meaning Nic Petan will see his first action of the season tonight. The 22-year-old will be on the wing with Adam Lowry and Shawn Matthias.

"We talked about it this morning. Just trying to keep it simple. Carry it over from preseason. I thought I had a strong preseason," said Petan.

"It helps with the confidence, knowing you get a little bit more ice time. But not everything is for sure. I just want to go out there with the same mindset I had in preseason. Play with confidence, and everything else will follow."

The full line rushes from this morning's skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome looked like this:

Ehlers-Scheifele-Wheeler
Perreault-Little-Laine
Matthias-Lowry-Petan
Tanev-Copp-Armia

Morrissey-Byfuglien
Kulikov-Trouba
Enstrom Myers

Calgary is also coming off a season opening loss. The Flames fell victim to Connor McDavid's hat trick back on Wednesday, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Edmonton Oilers.

Video: PRE-GAME | Nic Petan

Jaromir Jagr won't play tonight, as Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan says the 45-year-old still needs a bit more time to get up to game speed. That means Curtis Lazar will see his first action of the young NHL season with Kris Versteeg and Sam Bennett rounding out his line.

"I thought his last exhibition game he played well. Just the way he's practiced, I thought he's looked real fast, real sharp. It's a big game for him," said Flames coach Glen Gulutzan, who expects both teams to come in hungry tonight after opening the season in the loss column.

" I thought Winnipeg played better than we did in our first game. They just didn't get any luck in some of the power plays early. They controlled the play. We didn't have that. We have to get on our game a little quicker here. I expect a real good hockey game from two hungry clubs."

Video: PRE-GAME | Blake Wheeler

Despite it being Calgary's home opener, captain Blake Wheeler says the Jets can't be too concerned with what energy the Flames will bring in the first period. The focus, he says, needs to be on their own game.

"We're worried about ourselves. We feel that we got off to a good start in the Toronto game and it just kind of fell apart for us," said Wheeler. "We're trying to build on some of the positives from that game. Obviously when you give up seven goals, you're searching for them.

"Our goal is to get off to a good start. The first game isn't what we wanted, but it's a great opportunity for us to try and get back on track. The wins and losses will take care of themselves as long as we play the right way, the way we feel we can play. That's our goal tonight."

Steve Mason was the first goaltender off the ice and is expected to get his second start of the regular season, with puck drop set for 9 pm CT.

- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com

Video: PRE-GAME | Steve Mason

Tonight's Game

The Winnipeg Jets get their first taste of road action in the 2017-18 season tonight against the Calgary Flames in the opening game of a three-game western Canadian road trip…The Jets lost 7-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell MTS Place on Wednesday…Following tonight, the road trip continues in Edmonton on Monday and Vancouver on Thursday…The Jets' next action at Bell MTS Place is on Oct. 14 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

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.

Pacific Sun

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.

Power Outage

Wednesday's loss to Toronto marked the 19th time in franchise history the team had at least eight power play opportunities in a game and didn't score a power play goal…It was the second time since the franchise moved to Winnipeg that this happened - the other was Nov. 16/14 in a 4-3 OTL at Minnesota…Wednesday was the 18th time since the Jets relocated to Winnipeg in 2011 that an NHL team had at least eight power play opportunities and didn't score a power play goal.

Frightful October

The Jets franchise is 62-82-27 all-time in October, including 24-26-5 since the team relocated to Winnipeg…In their previous 17 seasons, 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.

Sharp Shootin' Continues

Jets forward Patrik Laine's 17.6% shooting percentage led all NHLers that took at least 200 shots last season…He improved on that during the pre-season, scoring five goals on 20 shots for a 25% shooting percentage…Four of the five goals came on the power play, which paced the NHL during the pre-season…He didn't score against Toronto on opening night, but he did register an assist and finished the game a team-best plus-2.

Spread Defence

The Jets didn't have a defenceman reach 25 minutes of ice time on Wednesday, as Jacob Trouba led all Jets players with 24:45 TOI…Tyler Myers played 23:24 in his first NHL regular season game since Nov. 11/16…Dustin Byfuglien, who led all NHL players in TOI/GP last season with 27:26, played 22:19 on Wednesday…Byfuglien only had one game last year when he played less - 21:57 on Dec. 31 vs. NYI…He played 25 minutes or more in 66 of the 80 games he played last season.

Lots of Lowry

Jets forward Adam Lowry played 20:27 on Wednesday, which was the most minutes played by a Jets forward…It marked the third time in his career he played more than 20 minutes in a game, all of which have happened at home…He logged 21:24 Oct. 27/16 vs DAL and 20:06 Mar. 19/17 vs. MIN.

Blockade

Jacob Trouba paced the Jets with four blocked shots on Wednesday…Since entering the NHL in 2013, Trouba leads the Jets with 551 blocked shots, which is 26th in the NHL in that same time frame.

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