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GAMEDAY: Jets vs Hurricanes

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

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - With Mathieu Perreault out of the Winnipeg Jets line-up tonight, Gabriel Bourque will step into the right-wing spot alongside Adam Lowry and Andrew Copp.

But that's not the only combination head coach Paul Maurice has in his mind for tonight's match-up with the Carolina Hurricanes.

"It's a change on special teams and the power play as well," said Maurice.

"The other options are (Logan) Shaw and (Nick) Shore in that right-wing spot. Shaw has played centre in the American League for quite some time. We're not looking for a perfect fit. We're looking for pace from all four lines. We'll learn a little something new with different players going into that hole."

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice

The Jets (20-11-2) are treating Perreault's injury, sustained on a late hit from Philadelphia's Joel Farabee on Sunday, like a concussion and have him going through the protocol before he returns to action.

Perreault has 12 points and has skated in all 33 games for the Jets this season.

"He's not the biggest guy out there but he knocks an awful lot down and causes a tremendous amount of chaos," said Maurice. "When he touches it, he can make something offensive happen.

"What has been great about Matty this year is it's a big jump to go from left (wing) to right (wing) for him and in a bit of a defensive role. He's been playing against the other team's best a lot of shifts. There hasn't been any wrinkles over there."

The full Jets line-up is expected to look like this:

Connor-Scheifele-Laine

Ehlers-Wheeler-Roslovic

Copp-Lowry-Bourque

Luoto-Shore-Shaw

Morrissey-Poolman

Sbisa-Pionk

Bitetto-Beaulieu

The 7-3 win over the Flyers on Sunday gave the Jets five straight wins at Bell MTS Place. They've outscored opponents 24-10 during that run but will certainly face a challenge in the Hurricanes tonight.

Carolina (20-11-2) is 4-0-1 in their last five games and are known for sending a lot of pucks toward the opposing team's net.

Video: PREGAME | Adam Lowry

They average over 33 shots per game, which puts them in the NHL's top 10 in that category. In addition, they lead the league in shot attempt percentage at even strength at 54.9 per cent.

"It's about picking up the three guys down low and making sure their sticks are off the ice and you have body position between them and the goalie," said Adam Lowry. "If you know the puck is going to be at the net and you can anticipate that's their first mentality is to funnel pucks to the net, they're going to be driving a couple guys down low. If you can get that possession off that initial shot, chances are you can get out of the zone quick and quick in transition."

The Hurricanes have allowed the seventh fewest goals against in the NHL this season (295), right behind the Jets who sit in sixth (285).

Over the video that Maurice has seen of the Hurricanes, he notes the key will be matching Carolina's speed and tenacity on the puck all over the ice.

"If you're not matching that speed and that intensity on the puck, you're going to be chasing the game quite a bit," Maurice said. "The same thing would be true if you have the puck. If you're slowing the game down to find a lane to make a play, they'll close those lanes off. If not, they'll knock things down.

"Their back end in a lot of ways drives that team. They've got some good size, really good sticks, but they skate well, they move the puck well. They're efficient with their defensive game."

Video: PREGAME | Luca Sbisa

That means the Jets will have to work hard to generate offence against the Hurricanes, who they have beaten in each of the last four meetings between the two clubs.

Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor each come in on six-game point streaks. Add Patrik Laine to the mix, and that line has accumulated 13 goals and 27 points in their last six outings.

"The biggest thing is we're sticking together. We're going to the right spots for each other," said Scheifele. "When we have the chance to make the play, we're going to make the play. But we're in a good support position every shift. That's what generates the offence."

Video: PREGAME | Mark Scheifele

Learning where those particular positions are can take some time as a line grows together. But Maurice has seen that from Scheifele's line over time.

"It's an anticipation and it's an understanding of what the other players' strengths are," said Maurice.

"Mark has been very good bottom of the circles down behind the net coming out under one or two-man pressure. What happens off that is as much about Mark's hands as those two guys putting themselves in a place to be open for Mark.

"He can make the pass. He'll get it to you. But you need to be in a place that it makes sense for him to try… The anticipation between players comes from non-verbal cues of understanding where they're supposed to be."

Connor Hellebuyck will start in goal for the Jets, Petr Mrazek will counter for the Hurricanes with puck drop set for 7 pm CT.

-- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com

Game Notes

The Winnipeg Jets play the second game of a three-game homestand tonight when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to Bell MTS Place for the only time this season...The Jets defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 7-3 on Sunday to open the homestand with a victory...The Jets finish the homestand Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Last Game

Dec. 15 vs. PHI - 7-3 W

 Jets Scorers: Ehlers (14), Sbisa (2), Wheeler (9), Scheifele (15), Shaw (1), Laine (10), Connor (14)

Flyers Scorers: Niskanen (4), Van Riemsdyk (8), Gostisbehere (5)

Jets Goaltender: Connor Hellebuyck (29 sv, 3 ga)

Flyers Goaltender: Brian Elliot (11 sv, 6 ga), Carter Hart (6 sv, 1 ga)

Jets PP: 3-for-5
Jets PK: 0-for-1

Recap: Seven different Jets scored en route to a 7-3 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday afternoon...Blake Wheeler (1G, 2A), Mark Scheifele (1G, 2A), and Neal Pionk (3A) led the Jets with three points each...Logan Shaw scored his first goal with the Jets, while Nick Shore assisted the goal for his first point with Winnipeg...Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves to earn the win.

Three Stars: 1. Wheeler 2. Pionk 3. Scheifele

READ THE GAME NOTES

20 Dubs

The Jets earned their 20th win of the season on Sunday in their 33rd game of the season...It's the second fastest the Jets have won 20 games in a season in franchise history after reaching 20 wins in 31 games last season...Winnipeg's record has shot up thanks to going 14-4-2 since Nov. 1, which is tied for the third best record in the NHL...The Jets haven't lost consecutive games in two months since losing three consecutive games from Oct. 13-17, which is their only losing streak of the season.

Finding the Power

The Jets scored a season high three power play goals on Sunday against the Flyers...It's only the second time this season Winnipeg scored multiple power play goals in a game (2 - Oct. 17 vs. ARI)...The Jets are 5-for-15 (33.3%) on the power play in their past four games...After scoring a career high 12 power play goals last season, Mark Scheifele leads the Jets with five power play goals this season, including scoring three of Winnipeg's past five power play markers.

Against the East

The Jets are 7-5-1 against the Eastern Conference this season, including 4-4-1 against the Metropolitan Division...Tomorrow is Winnipeg's fourth consecutive game against an Eastern Conference team...Mark Scheifele leads the Jets in scoring against the Eastern Conference with 16 points (5G, 11A) in 13 games, while Nikolaj Ehlers has a team-leading six goals.

Home Ice

The Jets are in the midst of playing five of six games at Bell MTS Place...Winnipeg is 10-5-1 on home ice this season, including 8-1-1 in their past 10 home contests...The Jets have won five consecutive home games and have outscored their opponents 24-10 in the five victories...Mark Scheifele (9G, 7A) leads the Jets in scoring at home with 16 points in 16 games.

Getting Streaky

Mark Scheifele (6G, 5A) and Kyle Connor (4G, 6A) are riding six-game point streaks, which is the longest by a Jets player this season...Scheifele's three points on Sunday gave him his team leading ninth multi-point game of the season.

Points of Three

The Jets had three players register three-points in a game on Sunday for the first time this season...Mark Scheifele (1G, 2A) had his third three-point game of the season, while Blake Wheeler (1G, 2A) and Neal Pionk (3A) each had their first...Patrik Laine leads the Jets this season with four three-point games.

First Tallies

Logan Shaw scored his first goal for the Jets on Sunday...It was assisted by Nick Shore for his first point as a member of the Jets...Carl Dahlstrom and Joona Luoto are the only players on Winnipeg's active roster that have been held pointless this season.

Dominating the Dot

Blake Wheeler led the Jets by winning 14-of-18 (77.8%) of his face-offs on Sunday...He has won 10 or more face-offs in seven of the 17 games he's played since switching to centre, including five times in his past seven games...The Jets are 12-4-1 since Wheeler moved to centre...Mark Scheifele leads the Jets this season with 10 or more face-off wins in 13 games this season.

How the Jets Were Built

Drafted (11) - Connor, Copp, Ehlers, Hellebuyck, Laine, Little, Lowry, Morrissey, Poolman, Scheifele, Roslovic

Trade (3) - Beaulieu, Pionk, Wheeler

Free Agency (8) - Bitetto, Bourque, Brossoit, Kulikov, Letestu, Luoto, Perreault, Shaw

Waivers (3) - Dahlstrom, Sbisa, Shore

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