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At the Rink: Flames at Jets

by Patrick Williams

WINNIPEG -- After a 3-1-0 season-opening road trip, the Winnipeg Jets have an opportunity to continue that momentum onto home ice against the Calgary Flames at MTS Centre on Friday. It starts a six-game homestand for the Jets.

A familiar face to Winnipeg fans will return to his former home. Forward Michael Frolik signed with the Flames on July 1 after two seasons with Winnipeg.

"I'm excited and it's going to be a big game," Frolik said. "Winnipeg was very good for me and I am thankful to [the Jets]."

The Jets went 23-13-5 at home last season, including a 12-2-2 run in the second half of the season that carried them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their 23 home wins came within one of the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers record for a season, and sustaining that home-ice advantage inside one of the loudest arenas in the League is a goal for coach Paul Maurice.

"We're not going to try to guard against that energy," Maurice said. "We're going to try to figure out how to use it. This is a very unique building. It's very loud and the fans are great. We've got to find a way harness that. I think later [last season] we did."

Maurice's players said they will try to execute that plan.

"The starts of games are very key at home," Jets forward Mathieu Perreault said. "You look at the best home teams and they usually dominate in the first 10 minutes, really get moving and get on the forecheck. That's a strength of this team and that's what we want to do."

Flames coach Bob Hartley said he knows his players will have to contend with an opponent that often pounced on teams early in games at home last season. But Hartley's concerns extend beyond the Jets as the Flames attempt to solidify their game.

"At [1-2-0], it's obvious that we need to be better," he said. "We're far from playing a complete game, but it's still early. We want to practice the right way, play the right way. And we're showing signs of this, but have we played a full 60-minute effort? The answer is very simple. It's no."

The Flames will start goaltender Karri Ramo, who lost 5-1 against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 7 in his only start this season. The Jets will counter with Ondrej Pavelec.

Here are the projected lineups:


Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler

Sam Bennett - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik

Micheal Ferland - Matt Stajan - David Jones

Mason Raymond - Josh Jooris - Brandon Bollig

Mark Giordano - Dougie Hamilton

Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman

Brett Kulak - Deryk Engelland

Karri Ramo

Jonas Hiller

Injured: Lance Bouma (leg), TJ Brodie (hand), Joe Colborne (thumb), Ladislav Smid (neck)

Scratched: Markus Granlund, Joni Ortio


Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault - Mark Scheifele - Nikolaj Ehlers

Alexander Burmistrov - Adam Lowry - Drew Stafford

Chris Thorburn - Andrew Copp - Nic Petan

Adam Pardy - Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom - Tyler Myers

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Ondrej Pavelec

Michael Hutchinson

Injured: Ben Chiarot (undisclosed), Grant Clitsome (back)

Scratched: Anthony Peluso, Paul Postma

Status report: Jooris will dress in place of Bouma, who sustained a broken leg in a 4-3 loss against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 13.

Who's hot: Gaudreau has four assists in his first three games. …Wheeler has opened the season with a four-game point streak, during which he has two goals and three assists. ... Scheifele scored in each his first three games before going scoreless in a 4-1 win against the New York Rangers on Oct. 13. ... Ehlers has one goal and two assists during a three-game point streak.

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