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Top line reunited as Jets host Ottawa

Stretch of four games in five nights concludes tonight

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 /

TSN Pregame Report

TSN Pregame Report

Dennis Beyak and Shane Hnidy tee up tonight's pre-season matchup between the Jets and Senators

  • 02:55 •

Everything old is new again, at least for the Winnipeg Jets top line tonight.

Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, and Nikolaj Ehlers will be reunited for the first time this preseason when the Jets take on the Ottawa Senators.

The trio combined for 29 goals and 71 points since Feb. 18 last season, and Wheeler says a lot of that success comes from speed.

"I think the three of us do well when we're skating. Those two guys skate as well as anyone on our team. I'm constantly trying to keep up with them," said Wheeler, who had 10 of those goals. "That's exciting, playing behind the puck a little bit. They create a lot of offence out there, and for me, trying to create some space for them.

"When any of us beats a guy with our legs, good things seem to happen."

Video: PREGAME | Blake Wheeler on Scheifele and Ehlers

A lot of those "good things" happened in the preseason debut for all three players late last week. Scheifele had a goal and three assists, while Wheeler chipped in three helpers of his own in last Friday's 5-1 win over Edmonton.

Ehlers, meanwhile, had a goal of his own in the 4-1 win over Minnesota the night before. Despite that though, Ehlers hopes to have a better overall performance tonight.

"It wasn't my best game," said Ehlers, who played 15:01 and had four shots against the Wild. "I think the first two periods of my game was not great. The third period I came back and my legs were going. I'm going to try and do that from the beginning tonight."

Video: PREGAME | Mathieu Perreault on returning to lineup

Winnipeg's power play has been clicking in the team's three consecutive preseason wins. Over that span, the Jets have scored seven times in 14 opportunities. But it's not only stats that head coach Paul Maurice likes about the team's play with the man advantage.

"There's a couple of general themes, one of them being movement, that is right," he said.

According to Maurice, the movement he sees began last season, when the Jets were third in the league in power play efficiency between Jan. 2 and Feb 18.

"It's not going to clip at those numbers, nobody's does…. We've got a real good template to work off of here."

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice on injury updates

While the power play's proficiency is good news, the Jets got more good news this morning. Mathieu Perreault, the player that scored the first power play marker in the impressive three game streak, is set to return to the line-up after leaving the Minnesota game with an injury.

"I just got a bump and something didn't feel right," Perreault said. "I skated the last two days and feel normal."

Puck drop is set for 7 pm CT. Michael Hutchinson will get the start in goal.


Anthony Peluso and Ryan Olsen (both are listed as day-to-day) skated with the team this morning for the first time since sustaining their injuries. They won't play tonight against Ottawa. Tyler Myers also won't play tonight despite skating this morning.

Logan Stanley also took part in this morning's skate. Maurice said Stanley's availability for his preseason debut depends on the health of one of the other defencemen in the line-up.

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