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Ondrej Pavelec recalled from AHL by Jets

Goalie will make first start of season against Coyotes on Wednesday

NHL.com @NHL

Goalie Ondrej Pavelec was recalled by the Winnipeg Jets from Manitoba of the American Hockey League and will start against the Arizona Coyotes at MTS Centre on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-A, NHL.TV).

Pavelec, 29, was 8-7-2 with a 2.78 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 18 AHL games after spending the previous five seasons with the Jets. Winnipeg placed Pavelec on waivers on Oct. 10 and sent him to the minors after he cleared the next day.

"I have a chance to stay in NHL somehow and whatever happens, happens," Pavelec said. "If I'm going to play good, I may stay with the Jets. I don't know. You never know, so that's too far [ahead]. I just want to play the game and win the game and we go from there. It's a little bit too early to talk about what's going to happen in a few weeks."

"Of course I was disappointed [to be sent down]. I would say I've been around for a while and I know it's part of the business. Of course I wasn't happy. I learned the last few years, don't take things personally. It's a business and it doesn't matter if you agree or not. You don't make those decisions. [General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is] getting paid to make those decisions, [coach Paul Maurice is] getting paid to make those decisions. I know I'm in the last year of my contract - I know what's going on."

The Jets (20-23-4) have lost four straight games (0-3-1) and are four points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Connor Hellebuyck is 16-13-1 with a 2.82 GAA and .907 save percentage in 34 games (32 starts), and Michael Hutchinson is 4-10-3 with a 3.23 GAA and .893 save percentage in 20 games (15 starts). Hutchinson allowed four goals in a 5-2 loss at the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

"We've got to win hockey games," Maurice said. "Both our guys are struggling a little bit in the net and Ondrej's playing well. He may give us the best chance [Wednesday] night, and we'll see after that ... if we like his game then I'll throw him back in. 

"We've got to win hockey games right now. We've also got to get these two young guys back feeling good and on track. And with the weight of what's going on, we've lost four in a row, that's a lot to put on them. So they need a little step back here."

Pavelec was chosen by the Atlanta Thrashers in the second round (No. 41) of the 2005 NHL Draft. He is 148-154-47 with a 2.86 GAA and .907 save percentage in 371 NHL games. He went 9-2-1 with a .955 save percentage in the final 12 games of the 2014-15 season to help the Jets reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, when the team was based in Atlanta.

He played 33 games last season, his lowest NHL total since 2008-09.

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