WINNIPEG – A long stretch of games for the Winnipeg Jets that concludes Sunday against the Arizona Coyotes should allow them to catch their breath this week.
For a team finishing a stretch of seven games in 11 days, the news regarding injured left wing Mathieu Perreault might also let the Jets exhale a collective sigh of relief. The Jets have won three consecutive games and four of their past five, and Perreault has been a major factor.
Perreault was injured by a cross-check to his left arm from Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo at the end of the second period of the Jets' 4-2 win on Friday. Perreault has 13 goals in his past 21 games and is fourth on the Jets in scoring with 15 goals and 14 assists.
After the morning skate Sunday, Jets coach Paul Maurice announced that Perreault will miss the game against Arizona. Maurice also does not have any expectation that Perreault will play Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
However, Maurice is hopeful that Perreault will feel better after the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25. The Jets' first game after the All-Star break is Jan. 27 at the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Carcillo has been offered an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety. The opportunity for an in-person hearing is required by provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any suspension that can exceed five games.
"[Perreault's injury] hurts," Jets right wing Blake Wheeler said. "He is a guy that is the definition of 'on fire' right now. [Perreault] is such a key part of our team and such a key part of our success this [season]."
To replace Perreault, who had a four-goal game Jan. 13 against the Florida Panthers, Maurice will move left wing Evander Kane to Winnipeg's second line with center Mark Scheifele and right wing Michael Frolik.
Left wing Chris Thorburn will take Kane's spot on the third line with center Adam Lowry and right wing Matt Halischuk. TJ Galiardi, who has been a healthy scratch for five consecutive games, will dress and play on the fourth line with center Jim Slater and right wing Anthony Peluso.
But no amount of line-juggling will replace Perreault for the Jets.
"[Perreault is] a pretty important player for us right now," Jets captain Andrew Ladd said. "He's a guy that has been a big part of our offense, so to see a cheap shot like that take him out of the lineup for us, these are important games, and we want to finish up [strong] before the break. But I guess it could have been worse, too."
The Coyotes began a franchise-high eight-game road trip Saturday with a 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild, their fourth consecutive straight. Arizona began the road trip after completing a 2-4-0 homestand.
Captain Shane Doan missed his second consecutive game Saturday because of a lower-body injury. The Coyotes did not hold a morning skate and Doan's status for the game Sunday has not been announced.
It is expected that the Coyotes will start goalie Mike Smith, who made 30 saves against Minnesota. With the Jets reverting to a goaltending rotation, Maurice will start Ondrej Pavelec.
Here are the projected lineups:
Tobias Rieder - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker
Martin Erat - Martin Hanzal - Sam Gagner
Lauri Korpikoski - Kyle Chipchura - David Moss
Brandon McMillan - Joe Vitale - Lucas Lessio
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Michael Stone
Keith Yandle - Connor Murphy
Philip Samuelsson - Zbynek Michalek
Scratched: B.J. Crombeen, Chris Summers
Injured: Shane Doan (lower body), Brandon Gormley (lower body)
Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane - Mark Scheifele - Michael Frolik
Chris Thorburn - Adam Lowry - Matt Halischuk
TJ Galiardi - Jim Slater - Anthony Peluso
Ben Chiarot - Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom - Zach Bogosian
Mark Stuart - Jay Harrison
Scratched: Adam Pardy, Paul Postma
Injured: Grant Clitsome (back), Mathieu Perreault (upper body), Jacob Trouba (upper body)
Status report: Crombeen has not played since Jan. 6…Gormley's lower-body injury has sidelined him since Jan. 10.
Who's hot: The Winnipeg power play scored for the third consecutive game in the win at Chicago. The Jets are 23-for-85 on the power play since Nov. 25.