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GAME DAY: Road trip continues in nation's capital

4:00pm CT - TV: TSN3; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 /

Video: JetsTV Road Report

OTTAWA, ON - Halfway through a four-game Eastern Conference road trip, and with three of a possible four points in their pocket, the Winnipeg Jets fly into Ottawa looking for more.

It will be the eleventh time this season that the Jets will play on back-to-back days, but the Senators will be in the same boat, having played last night in Toronto.

The Jets (27-29-5) are coming off a 3-1 win in Montreal, a victory that sent Canadiens fans home disappointed after Claude Julien's debut behind the bench.

"We were prepared for a real heavy push early. We got out of the gate and kept it quiet for the most part," said head coach Paul Maurice. "There weren't any flurries around our net, which is where the building is able to get going. Anything that gets close to your goal, it gets loud in here. We did a good job of not allowing zone time where they get rolling around. They feed off that. All teams do."

The win was also the third straight game the Jets have picked up at least a point in the standings, going 2-0-1 in that span. The overtime loss came in Pittsburgh back on Thursday, but captain Blake Wheeler says that was also when a more physical Jets team emerged.

"After we got down two in Pittsburgh, we started laying the body a little bit and we started getting on pucks. That gave us a lot of confidence," said Wheeler.

Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler

That confidence was evident throughout the line-up, and Mathieu Perreault - who scored his first goal yesterday since Jan. 11, coincidentally also against Montreal - feels it changes how teams play against Winnipeg.

"It changed everything for us. It creates space on the ice. Teams aren't scared, but they get rid of the puck a little bit sooner than they normally would and it creates turnovers for us," said Perreault. "Guys like (Adam) Lowry and (Shawn) Matthias, when they get on the body, teams get nervous out there. I would, if a team was running me like that. I've been trying to hit a lot more.

"Everyone has been trying to do it, and it helps the team."

Lowry led the Jets with 10 hits against Pittsburgh, and as a group, the Jets have dished out 97 hits in the last two games. But that hasn't taken away from the team's offence. While they've outhit their opponents, the Jets have also had more five-on-five shot attempts (104) than the combined efforts of the Penguins and Canadiens (90) in those games.

Video: POSTGAME | Mathieu Perreault

"The players understand that you're going to lose games, but it's about (not) losing confidence," Maurice said following the game at the Bell Centre. "When we left that [Pittsburgh] game, you don't lose a thing. You feel terrible because you put a lot into it, but they didn't walk away playing any less confident - probably even more confident because even in an overtime loss, they were walking out of there saying 'That's what we're capable of doing on a nightly basis and that's our challenge.'"

The Senators (31-19-6) come in on a streak of their own, having won four of their last five games. Combined with their 6-3 win over Toronto last night, and Winnipeg's 3-1 victory over Montreal, the Senators are now just two points back of the Canadiens for the Atlantic Division lead.

The Jets didn't hold a morning skate on Sunday. Stay tuned to for line-up notes closer to game time, including whether Connor Hellebuyck will start in goal after stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced in Montreal.

Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice

One of which really stuck out to Maurice - a seam pass to a streaking Nathan Beaulieu on a Canadiens power play, shortly after Joel Armia had tied the game in the second period.

"That's a huge one. It changes the direction of the game. I thought he made three other really good saves," said Maurice. "Then we let him play fairly quiet and fairly solid. It's good for him too, because I think he's got a lot left in his legs, and some confidence."

- Mitchell Clinton,


Today's Game

The Winnipeg Jets play the third game of a four-game Eastern Conference road trip today against the Ottawa Senators…The Jets beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 yesterday, with Mathieu Perreault and Patrik Laine each registering a goal and an assist…The Senators have won four of their last five games…The Jets finish the road trip Tuesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Back at It

For the second time this month, Winnipeg is playing on back-to-back days…The Jets are 5-5-1 in the first game of back-to-backs, while they enter today's game 4-4-2 in the second game of back-to-back games this season…The Jets have three more back-to-back sets remaining on their schedule in March.

Life on the Road

Since Dec. 22, the Jets are 8-4-2 on the road, which is tied for the third most points (18) on the road in the NHL during that time…The Jets have outscored their opponents 49-42 in the 14 games…The special teams have also been solid with the power play sitting at 22.5% (9-for-40) and penalty kill at 83.7% (41-for-49)…The Jets were 5-11-2 and outscored 60-37 in their first 18 road games this season.

East Woes Healing

With points in back-to-back games against Eastern Conference opponents, the Jets have improved to 8-13-3 against Eastern Conference teams this season, including 6-6-1 against Atlantic Division teams...Last season the Jets went 12-15-5 against the Eastern Conference.

Special Teams Notes

- The Jets are 1-for-17 (5.9%) on the power play in their last six games and have gone four consecutive games (0-for-13) without scoring a power play goal.
- The Jets are 13-for-15 (86.6%) on the penalty kill in their last six games.
- The Jets have played 35:15 more on the power play than on the penalty kill at home this season, but have played 40:48 more on the penalty kill than on the power play on the road.
- The Jets have been shorthanded 71 times in the third period this season, which is the most in the league.

Team Quick Hits

- The Jets have dished out 97 hits in their last two games.
- The Jets have played a league-high 61 games.

Rookie Finnisher

Rookie Patrik Laine has five goals in his last three games to move him back into sole possession of the NHL rookie goal scoring lead with 28, which also has him tied for third in NHL goal scoring…Laine's 50 points (28g, 22a) also leads all NHL rookies, as does his 0.94 points per game…Since representing the Jets all the NHL All-star Game, Laine has nine points (5g, 4a) in eight games…He's the 16th Jets player to reach 50 points in a season since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season.

Finnish Armi

Laine's countryman Joel Armia has been finding the scoresheet frequently as well, with six points (3g, 3a) in his last seven games…He scored the first shorthanded goal of his career yesterday against Montreal…With 34 goals between them this season, Laine and Armia are tied with Minnesota's Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu for the most goals between two Finnish teammates in the NHL this season.

Player Quick Hits

- Since Jan. 26, goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has a .923 save percentage in seven games, which is ninth in the NHL among goaltenders that have played in seven games since then.
- Dustin Byfuglien continues to lead all NHL players in TOI with 1,673:13 and average TOI at 27:25…He's the only player in the NHL to surpass 1,600 minutes played this season.
- Mark Scheifele is second in the NHL with 47 even strength points and tied for fifth in the NHL with 50 takeaways.

Jets vs. Senators All-Time Records

Overall: 21-33-3
At Canadian Tire Centre: 11-16-2

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