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GAMEDAY: Jets vs Devils

7:00 pm CT - TV: TSN 3; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - Back from a successful road trip, the Winnipeg Jets want to get a four-game home stand off to a strong start against the New Jersey Devils.

That starts with right at puck drop, which can be a challenge when returning from nine days on the road.

"For some reason that first game back you tend to relax a bit. You're relieved to be home and sleeping in your own bed again, especially after a long road trip like that," said Little.

"I think we're all motivated to keep this on a roll right now. We haven't really had too much momentum going for us this season so far. We want to keep this on a roll here."

Video: PREGAME | Bryan Little

The five wins the Jets (8-7-0) have away from home are tied for the second most in the NHL.

The last two victories against San Jose and Vegas proved the resilience the Jets have, but Little would like to see the team play a little more consistently in each period.

"A lot of those games on the road trip looked different. They were kind of all over the map," said Little. "But we ended the way we wanted to. We played a really good third period in Vegas and ended up coming back and getting a big win. If we can carry any of that over to tonight, that will be a big help."

Winnipeg is 4-0-0 when trailing after 20 minutes this season. The first of those four wins came against these very same Devils at Prudential Center.

It was the second game of the season for the Jets and the first for a new look Devils squad that featured the additions of first overall pick Jack Hughes and former Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban.

The Jets trailed 4-0 late in the second period of that game before rallying back and winning 5-4 in a shootout.

The video of that game was part of the prep for tonight's tilt.

"We would have our edits from that game of where we were good and where we got hurt. Then we'd relate that to their last four or five games, where they're a little bit of a different team now," said head coach Paul Maurice. "A really big shift on their power play. They changed their defenceman up top and now they've scored seven in their past six games. They've got a real boost from that."

Video: PREGAME | Neal Pionk

As was expected given his full practice on Monday, Jets defenceman Nathan Beaulieu will make his season debut tonight.

He sustained an upper-body injury in the preseason finale against the Minnesota Wild, but is good to go against the Devils (3-5-4).

His return comes at a good time, as Tucker Poolman left Saturday's victory over the Golden Knights in the first period and didn't return. He remains day-to-day as the team waits for him to get tests done.

Poolman's injury in that game left the Jets with five defencemen. Neal Pionk played a season-high 29:24 in that contest.

"As a player you're always asking for more minutes. I don't know if you can ask for more than that," Pionk said with a grin. "It was a little bit of a unique situation but I think everyone responded well.

"I think for us to go on the road and get a few wins was great."

In the last match-up between these two teams, Pionk scored his first goal as a member of the Jets and added an assist over his 27:21 of ice time - which coincidentally was his season-high until this past weekend's game against Vegas.

"He's been incredibly efficient but a high intensity player. He doesn't burn a lot of energy trying to cover everybody's job. A smart guy, knows his job, really effective with it - but fast with it," said Maurice.

"He's a fit man, he recovers very well on the bench. He won't burn any extra energy, but still plays a very intense game. He doesn't conserve in his shifts, he's just really efficient with what he gets done."

After playing for the New York Rangers for over 100 regular season games, Pionk is well aware of what the Devils bring to the table as the Jets search for their second three-game win streak of the season.

"They have a lot of talent - younger talent, older talent, it doesn't matter. They have a good team despite what their record says," said Pionk.

"A lot of it is their speed. It's based on their top guys. Taylor Hall can really skate. You combine that with their physicality and they have a good team."

As much as the Devils will bring speed to the ice, Maurice will be looking for the same from his squad.

"That'll be the place that we're looking for our indicators," said Maurice. "Are we getting to hits that we're supposed to? Not that we're running around the ice finishing checks, but are we getting to them. Then it's going to be hand speed. Are we moving the puck quick enough? They have a lot of quickness up front, a lot of good hands that will knock pucks down.

"We have to get to fast."

Puck drop is set for 7 pm CT.

-- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com

Game Notes

The Winnipeg Jets kick off a four-game homestand tonight against the New Jersey Devils...The Jets have won three of their past four games, including going 2-1-0 on a Pacific Division road trip last week, which ended with a 4-3 overtime victory against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday...Winnipeg continues its homestand on Friday against the Vancouver Canucks.

Last Game

Nov. 2 at VGK - 4-3 OTW

Jets Scorers: Perreault (3, 4), Scheifele (5), Connor (5)

Golden Knights Scorers: Marchessault (3), Pacioretty (3), Schmidt (1)

Jets Goaltender: Brossoit (23 sv, 3 ga)

Golden Knights Goaltender: Subban (35 sv, 4 ga)

Jets PP: 1-for-4
Jets PK: 2-for-3

Recap: The Jets erased a 3-1 first period deficit to beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in overtime on Saturday night...Kyle Connor scored the game-winner in overtime and had two assists, while Mathieu Perreault scored twice for the Jets...Laurent Brossoit made 23 saves, including stopping all 16 shots he faced after the first period, for the win...Anthony Bitetto and Luca Sbisa each led the Jets with six hits.

Three Stars: 1. Connor 2. Schmidt 3. Karlsson

READ THE GAME NOTES

Narrow Margins

Six of Winnipeg's eight wins this season have been by one goal, including their past five victories...The six one-goal victories are tied for the NHL lead...Winnipeg is a perfect 5-0 in games decided in overtime (3-0) or a shootout (2-0), which also leads the NHL...Last season, the Jets were 19-7-5 in one-goal games.

#Trendingup

The Jets have won consecutive games for the first time since winning three consecutive games from Oct. 8-12/19...Winnipeg also has a 4-2-0 record in their past six games...Kyle Connor (2G, 5A) and Nikolaj Ehlers (4G, 2A) are both averaging more than a point per game in the past six games, while goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is 3-2-0 with a 2.40 goals-against average and .936 save percentage...With a win tonight, the Jets can win consecutive games when they are the home team for the first time this season after beating the Calgary Flames 2-1 in the Heritage Classic in Regina back on Oct. 26.

By Period

Saturday's win was the first time in five games the Jets didn't allow a goal in the second period...Winnipeg has scored 11, 13, and 14 goals in first, second, and third periods, respectively...The Jets have a minus-two goal differential first periods and plus-one differential in third periods, but are minus-10 in second periods this season.

Shootin'

The Jets won on Saturday for the third time this season (3-6) when outshooting their opponent...Winnipeg is 5-1 when being outshot by their opponent this season...Overall, the Jets are averaging 33.1 shots per game compared to allowing 33.7 shots per game.

Mr. OT

Kyle Connor scored his fourth career overtime goal on Saturday, which is tied for the sixth-most goals in franchise history...With a 30.8% shooting percentage in overtime, he is one of three players in franchise history to have scored four or more overtime goals and have a shooting percentage better than 30% in overtime, joining Marc Savard - 38.5% and Mark Scheifele - 33.3%.

Two for Perreault

Mathieu Perreault scored twice on Saturday to collect his 200th point as a member of the Jets franchise...He's the 12th to reach 200 points with the organization, joining current teammates Blake Wheeler (594), Bryan Little (521), Mark Scheifele (386), and Nikolaj Ehlers (213)...His two-goal effort was his first multi-goal game since Jan. 7/18 in a 4-1 win against the San Jose Sharks.

How the Jets Were Built

Drafted (13) - Appleton, Connor, Copp, Ehlers, Gustafsson, Hellebuyck, Laine, Little, Lowry, Morrissey, Poolman, Scheifele, Roslovic

Trade (3) - Beaulieu, Pionk, Wheeler

Free Agency (7) - Bitetto, Bourque, Brossoit, Kulikov, Letestu, Perreault, Shaw

Waivers (2) - Dahlstrom, Sbisa

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