WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets look to extend a four-game preseason win streak tonight when they make their first appearance at Rogers Place against the Edmonton Oilers tonight.
The two teams met back on Sept. 30 at MTS Centre, a game the Jets won 5-1.
A lot has changed since then. Winnipeg trimmed their training camp roster by 10 this past week, leaving them with 29 skaters and three goaltenders. Edmonton has 30 left in camp, after re-assigning three on Oct. 5.
Among those left in Jets camp is 2015 first-round pick Kyle Connor, who has goals in each of his last three preseason games. He says the key has been playing within himself.
"(Making) smart decisions, try not to do too much out there, and just play to my strengths, and that's using my speed," said Connor.
Video: PREGAME | Kyle Connor
Connor has skated on Mathieu Perreault's wing since the start of camp back on Sept. 22. Perreault, a veteran of over 350 NHL games, has enjoyed having Connor on the wing.
"It's been fun. He's a great player. He's fast, he's smart, he's a pretty calm player," said Perreault. "He listens too. We've been talking a lot, trying to give him advice of where to go on the ice and what to do, and he listens."
That listening will be key, as the on-ice intensity picks up as the regular season nears.
"It's still a fast-paced game and it's only going to get faster now that they've cut the rosters down," said Connor. "It's what you want going into your last couple preseason games."
But in the eyes of head coach Paul Maurice, that fast pace can actually help young players like Connor.
Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice
"This whole thing changes in a week. All the stats don't matter," Maurice said.
"You're going to start seeing the young players that can process the game. For some of them it actually gets easier. This whole thing is going to get faster, but for some young players the game will get easier because the reads are cleaner out there.
"It happens faster. But there is only one guy coming to get you, but he's really coming to get you."
Connor Hellebuyck will get the start in goal for the Jets tonight, with puck drop at Rogers Place set for 8 pm CT.