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game preview

Oilers at Jets preview

Little makes season debut for Winnipeg; Smith starts in goal for Edmonton

by Darrin Bauming / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

OILERS (7-1-0) at JETS (4-5-0)

7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN1, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Bryan Little will make his season debut for the Winnipeg Jets when they play the Edmonton Oilers at Bell MTS Place on Sunday.

The forward missed the first nine games this season because of a concussion.

Winnipeg is 0-3-0 during its five-game homestand while being outscored 14-5.

Goalie Mike Smith starts for the Oilers, who have won two straight games. He has not started since a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 14, Edmonton's only defeat this season.

Players to watch

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has a point in each of Edmonton's eight games (16 points; six goals, 10 assists), and has five multipoint games. 

Jets center Mark Scheifele had a three-game goal streak end in a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday, but has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past six games.

 

They said it

"Any team can beat any team on any given night in this league, so you just worry about yourself and make sure you're playing well." -- Oilers coach Dave Tippett

"What's different about the Edmonton Oilers now is, there's structure in their game for them to survive the moments in the game where the other team is not making a lot of mistakes." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice

 

Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

James Neal -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Alex Chiasson

Jujhar Khaira -- Riley Sheahan -- Patrick Russell

Tomas Jurco -- Markus Granlund -- Josh Archibald

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Oscar Klefbom -- Kris Russell

Brandon Manning -- Matt Benning

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

Scratched: William Lagesson, Sam Gagner

Injured: Adam Larsson (leg), Joakim Nygard (rib), Joel Persson (concussion)

 

Jets projected lineup

Patrik Laine -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Kyle Connor -- Bryan Little -- Nikolaj Ehlers

Andrew Copp -- Adam Lowry -- Jack Roslovic

Mathieu Perreault -- David Gustafsson -- Gabriel Bourque

Josh Morrissey -- Tucker Poolman

Neal Pionk -- Ville Heinola

Carl Dahlstrom -- Dmitry Kulikov

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Mason Appleton

Injured: Nathan Beaulieu (upper body), Mark Letestu (undisclosed), Anthony Bitetto (day to day)

Suspended: Dustin Byfuglien

 

Status report

Appleton is expected to be scratched for the first time this season. … Edmonton recalled Gagner from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Saturday.

 

Stat pack

McDavid is tied with Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson for the NHL lead with 17 points (five goals, 12 assists). … Nugent-Hopkins has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past five games. … Kris Russell will play his 800th NHL game. … Jets coach Paul Maurice needs one win to reach 700 in the NHL. … Morrissey has five assists in his past five games.

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