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GAMEDAY: Jets vs Kings

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

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets will try to end a five-game stretch at Bell MTS Place on the right note when they host the Los Angeles Kings tonight.

The Jets (5-5-0) are looking to build off a 1-0 shootout win over Edmonton two nights ago, a game they were proud of defensively.

"We're happy, but that's done and we're on to LA tonight," said Mark Scheifele.

"The biggest thing is focusing on what we can control, focus on our game. It's still early in the season and we have a lot of kinks to work out."

Video: PREGAME | Mark Scheifele

While the defensive game has been growing over the course of the home stand, the team is hoping to cash in on more chances in the offensive zone.

Mathieu Perreault's goal 1:47 into the 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins was the last time the Jets scored at five-on-five. Since then, they've scored four power play goals.

However, as long as they're getting the chances, they know the goals will come at even strength.

"You always want more (chances). At the end of the day, it's about winning games. It's not about the extra stuff. It's about winning games and if it means keeping other guys off the scoresheet, then we've done our job," said Scheifele, who has 15 shots on goal in the four games of the home stand.

"You like the chances, it comes down to just bearing down and capitalizing when you get the chance."

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice

Add head coach Paul Maurice into the group not concerned with the five-on-five production. In fact, in comparison to this time last season, he likes how the Jets are generating offence this season more than in 2018-19.

"I didn't like our offensive game one bit because I knew it wasn't sustainable. You can't play that and certainly once you get closer to the playoffs, you're not playing that game," Maurice said. "We're grinding right now for offence a little bit, but we haven't opened up our game to do it."

Maurice said the team's forwards are learning how to interact and play with almost an entirely new group of defencemen - and that process takes time.

"We had a stretch early on in the season where we were scoring a bunch of goals, but we were giving up a bunch of goals," said Maurice, referencing the fact the Jets are 13th in goals for but have allowed the second most in the league so far (34), a trend they want to turn around quickly.

"We've got a new defensive group. How our forwards interact with this group is different than in the past. We're learning how to do that but they're accepting that."

Video: PREGAME | Kyle Connor

There will be one line-up change for the Jets, who didn't hold a morning skate on Tuesday.

Anthony Bitetto, who has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury, will play against the Kings while Tucker Poolman sits out with what Maurice describes as a "minor injury."

Bitetto's left-hand shot might change some things in terms of defensive pairs for the Jets, so warm-up will be the best indication of where Maurice may slot in the 29-year-old Bitetto. Based on Monday's practice, the Jets forward lines are expected to look like this:

Laine-Scheifele-Wheeler

Connor-Little-Ehlers

Copp-Lowry-Roslovic

Perreault-Gustafsson-Bourque

The Kings roll into the Manitoba capital to kick off a four-game road trip through the Central Division that includes stops in St. Louis, Minnesota, and Chicago.

Before hitting the road, the Kings beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 in their last outing.

Scheifele expects the Kings (3-5-0) might look a bit different with new head coach Todd McLellan behind the bench.

"We know they have some firepower up front and we know what they're capable of," said Scheifele. "With a new coach there is going to be a different aspect of their game brought out. For us, it's our first look at them and it's more about what we can do as opposed to combatting what they do."

Connor Hellebuyck gets the start in goal for the Jets with puck drop set for 7 pm CT.

Video: PREGAME | Nikolaj Ehlers

ICE CHIPS

For the first time since his injury, Nathan Beaulieu skated during Winnipeg's optional morning skate. Maurice's last update on Beaulieu's timeline indicated that the defenceman's window for a return opens just after the Heritage Classic, which goes Saturday in Regina against the Calgary Flames. 

-- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com

Game Notes

The Winnipeg Jets finish a five-game homestand tomorrow when the Los Angeles Kings visit Bell MTS Place...The Jets beat the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 in a shootout on Sunday night for their first win of the homestand...After tomorrow, the Jets have a few days to prepare for the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Saturday at Mosaic Stadium in Regina where they take on the Calgary Flames.

Last Game

Oct. 20 vs. EDM - 1-0 SOW

Jets Scorers: Connor (SO), Laine (SO)

Oilers Scorers: None

Jets Goaltender: Hellebuyck (28 sv, 0 ga)

Oilers Goaltender: Smith (23 sv, 0 ga)

Jets PP: 0-for-4
Jets PK: 2-for-2

Recap: Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine scored in the shootout for the Jets, as Winnipeg beat the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 in a shootout on Sunday...Connor Hellebuyck stopped all 28 shots directed his way for his first shutout of the season...Mark Scheifele paced the Jets with four shots and won 10-of-16 face-offs.

Three Stars: 1. Hellebuyck 2. Smith 3. Roslovic

READ THE GAME NOTES

Party in the Pacific

Tomorrow is the third of eight games Winnipeg plays against Pacific Division opponents in 10 outings...The Jets are 1-1-0 against the Pacific Division this season after going 16-6-2 against Pacific Division opponents last season, which was the most wins against the division by a team outside the division...Winnipeg won 11 of their last 17 games against the Pacific Division...Winnipeg was 17-4-2 against Pacific Division foes in 2017-18 and is on a 26-8-4 run in their past 38 games versus the Pacific...Since 2017-18, Blake Wheeler leads the Jets in scoring against the Pacific Division with 42 points (8G, 34A) in 50 games, while Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine each have a team-leading 20 goals...In goal, Connor Hellebuyck is 28-6-4 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .918 save percentage during that time against the Pacific.

Getting Comfy at Home

The Jets are finishing a stretch of five consecutive home games and are the home team for six consecutive games including the 2019 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic on Saturday against the Calgary Flames...Winnipeg is also in the midst of nine of 13 games at Bell MTS Place...In the 2019 calendar year, the Jets are 14-9-2 on home ice.

5v5

The Jets have gone 238:13 without scoring a goal at five-on-five...Mathieu Perreault's goal 1:47 into the game on Oct. 13 vs. PIT has been Winnipeg's only five-on-five goal of the homestand...The Jets 0.73 five-on-five goal ratio is fifth lowest in the NHL...Winnipeg is tied for 16th in the NHL with 16 even-strength goals this season.

Schedule Opens Up

Tomorrow ends a stretch of 11 games in 20 days to start the season for the Jets...Winnipeg's 10 games played this season is tied for first in the NHL...After tomorrow, the Jets play two games in the next nine days and four games in the next 13 days.

Helle Hot at Home

Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is 2-2-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in four games at home this season...He posted a 2.88 GAA and .913 SV% in 33 home games last season.

Sharp Shooters

Kyle Connor scored Winnipeg's first shootout goal last night to improve his career shootout mark to four goals on five shots...He also had a shootout goal earlier this season in a 5-4 win against New Jersey on Oct. 4, making him the only player in the NHL this season with multiple shootout goals...Patrik Laine sealed the win with his goal in the second round of the shootout to improve to eight goals on 15 shots for his career...Going back to last season, the Jets have won their past four games that have required a shootout.

Good Boys

Eighty-three players in the NHL have seven or more penalty minutes this season, but the Jets don't have one of the them...Dmitry Kulikov leads the Jets with six penalty minutes this season, while Nikolaj Ehlers has four penalty minutes to be the only other member of the Jets to take more than one minor penalty this season...Winnipeg is averaging a league low 3.8 penalty minutes per game as a team.

How the Jets Were Built

Drafted (14) - Appleton, Connor, Copp, Ehlers, Gustafsson, Heinola, Hellebuyck, Laine, Little, Lowry, Morrissey, Poolman, Scheifele, Roslovic

Trade (3) - Beaulieu, Pionk, Wheeler

Free Agency (6) - Bitetto, Bourque, Brossoit, Kulikov, Letestu, Perreault

Waivers (1) - Dahlstrom

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