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GAME DAY: Jets return to Jersey for rescheduled game

6:00pm CT - TV: TSN3; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 /

Video: JetsTV Road Report

NEWARK, NJ - The Winnipeg Jets will get both Dustin Byfuglien and Patrik Laine back in the line-up tonight when they take on the New Jersey Devils.

Laine missed Sunday's 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks due to illness, while Byfugien has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury.

"Maybe not 100 per cent, but I'm feeling pretty good," Laine said of his health. "Hopefully I can have enough power to play this game, but I think I'm feeling pretty good."

The 18-year-old Laine skated with Bryan Little and Mathieu Perreault at this morning's skate at Prudential Center.

Video: PREGAME | Patrik Laine

Perreault has been on fire as of late, recording 21 points in his last 16 games. He also factored in on both goals the Jets scored against Vancouver, scoring once and setting up Adam Lowry for the eventual game-winner.

Both of those goals came on the power play, which like Perreault, has been lighting the lamp consistently. The Jets (34-35-7) have scored on the man advantage at least once in their last seven games. A far cry from the stretch they were in during the last meeting with the Devils, when the team went 0-for-5 on the power play in a 3-2 win.

One of the big differences between then and now in Perreault's mind is motion.

"It gets their PK moving, it gets them tired. So when you move the puck and you move bodies around, they have to keep their head on a swivel, and the goalie has to be moving a lot as well," he said, adding that communication and practice plays a big role in that as well.

"Sometimes you can make a blind pass to an area knowing a guy is going to be there because we practiced it. It definitely helps."

Video: PREGAME | Mathieu Perreault

Tonight's game was originally scheduled to be played back on Mar. 14, before a winter storm caused the game to be postponed. The Jets have now been at Prudential Center for a morning skate (prior to playing the New York Rangers on Nov. 6), a practice (the day after the postponed game), before finally playing the Devils tonight.

New Jersey sits last in the Eastern Conference with a 27-35-13 record, and have two wins in their last 17 games (2-12-3 in that span). Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri, who have 50 points each, lead the Devils offensively.

Video: PREGAME | Nikolaj Ehlers

"It'll be nice to finally get out there and play this game. Last time we were here we were kind of expecting not playing the game," said Ehlers. "They're going to come out hard. They don't want to lose another game. Anytime you're struggling you want to get out there and get right back into it. So that's how they're going to come out tonight. We're ready for that."

Connor Hellebuyck (23-19-4, 0.906 save percentage) was the first goaltender off the ice at Prudential Center this morning, and is expected to get the start.

Puck drop is set for 6 pm CT on TSN 3 and TSN 1290.

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice


Head coach Paul Maurice gave some updates on injuries this morning, saying the team hasn't shut down any players for the season as of yet.

"Paul Postma is very probably going to have surgery here in the next week. That's where it's trending. But that was true two weeks ago as well," said Maurice. "He had played on it, but it had just got to the point that he couldn't play."

Maurice added Tyler Myers will meet in the next day or two with a specialist, and the coach would have more information on how the defenceman is progressing at that time.

- Mitchell Clinton,


Tonight's Game

The Winnipeg Jets make a one-game trip to play the New Jersey Devils tonight at Prudential Center…The game was originally supposed to be played on March 14, but was postponed due to a severe winter storm…The Jets beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 on Sunday night to run their home winning streak to three games…Mathieu Perreault (1g, 1a) and Blake Wheeler (2a) each had a pair of points for the Jets against the Canucks…The Devils have lost three in a row and end a three-game homestand tonight…The Jets return home after the game and play the Anaheim Ducks at MTS Centre on Thursday.

Outside the Central

After beating the Canucks on Sunday, the Jets have the opportunity tonight to defeat a non-divisional team twice this season for the second straight game and fourth time this season…The Jets went 2-1-0 against Vancouver and the Arizona Coyotes and won both games against the Florida Panthers…Winnipeg is 17-27-5 against teams outside the Central Division this season.

Beasts from the East

The Jets are 11-14-4 against Eastern Conference teams this season, including 4-8-2 against Metropolitan Division teams…Three of the four wins the Jets have against Metropolitan teams have come at MTS Centre...A win tonight gives the Jets their first three-game winning streak against Eastern Conference teams this season…Last season the Jets went 12-15-5 against the Eastern Conference.

The Road Ahead

The Jets are 11 points back of the St. Louis Blues for the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference and the Blues have two games in hand…Of the six games the Jets have left in the regular season, five are against teams currently holding a playoff spot…Winnipeg's tragic number for being eliminated from playoff contention is one.

Special Teams Notes

- The Jets have scored a power play goal in a season-high seven consecutive games (8-for-25, 32.0%)…It's the third-best power play in the NHL since Mar. 13.
- The two power play goals the Jets scored on Sunday against Vancouver marked the first time Winnipeg scored more than one power play goal in a game since Jan. 21 vs. STL - a span of 26 games.
- The Jets are 14-for-18 (77.8%) on the penalty kill in their last six games and are a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill in their last two games.
- Winnipeg has been shorthanded the most in the NHL this season at 260 times.
- The Jets have been shorthanded 86 times in the third period this season, which is the most in the league.

Hutch Back-to-Back

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson is 3-1-0 with a .951 save percentage in his last four games, three of which have been starts…It's the first time this season he's allowed two goals or less in four consecutive appearances…He's started the last two games for the Jets, which is the first time he's started back-to-back games since Jan. 14 at LAK and Jan. 16 at SJS…If he starts tonight, it would be the first time this season he's started three consecutive games.

Scheifs Stays Hot

With an assist on Sunday against Vancouver, Mark Scheifele has a point in 14 of his last 18 games (4g, 19a)…The assist was his 76th point of the season, which moves him two points behind Blake Wheeler, who had 78 points last season, for the most points in a season by a Jets player since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season…Vyacheslav Kozlov's 80 points during the 2006-07 season is the last time in franchise history a player reached 80 points in a season.

Streaking Perreault

Mathieu Perreault is on a six-game point streak (4g, 6a)…He's factored into all five of Winnipeg's goals in the Jets last three games and has factored into nine of Winnipeg's last 13 goals in the last five games…Since Feb. 16, Perreault has 21 points (7g, 14a) in 17 games, which leads the team in scoring during that time.

Iron Man Mo

With Dustin Byfuglien missing the last two games, rookie defencemen Josh Morrissey is the only Jets defencemen to play in all 76 games this season…The Jets have used 11 defenceman this season…Morrissey has played the most games of any rookie defenceman in the NHL this season and is ninth in average ice time for rookie defenceman at 19:24…Morrissey is also third among NHL rookie defencemen with 126 blocked shots and fourth in hits with 135.

Jets vs. Devils All-Time Records

Overall: 23-27-8
At Prudential Center: 6-5-4

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