SUNRISE, Fla. -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was scheduled to rejoin his teammates shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, or a couple of hours before the start of their game against the Florida Panthers.
Byfuglien missed Monday's practice after flying home for personal reasons. Coach Claude Noel said Monday that Derek Meech, recalled last Wednesday from St. John's of the American Hockey League, would take Byfuglien's place if he doesn't make it to the game on time.
Byfuglien averages a team-high 24:43 of ice time per game, but Noel wasn't fretting at possibly having to go without him.
"We'll see," Noel said. "I'm not too concerned with Dustin. If he's here, he's here; if he's not, we've got to win the game. There's other ways to win the game, so I'm not concerned. We'll just deal with it however it's dealt."
Forward Antti Miettinen, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury and has appeared in one game this season, will be back in the lineup for the Jets and is expected to play on a line with fellow Finn Olli Jokinen.
Forward Kyle Wellwood, a healthy scratch the past four games, also is expected to suit up.
Noel also confirmed that Ondrej Pavelec would make his 10th consecutive start in net.
Here are the Jets' projected lines:
Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane - Alexander Burmistrov - Nik Antropov
James Wright - Olli Jokinen - Antti Miettinen
Eric Tangradi - Jim Slater - Kyle Wellwood
Grant Clitsome - Dustin Byfuglien
Ron Hainsey - Zach Bogosian
Mark Stuart - Paul Postma
Injured: Tobias Enstrom (upper body), Zach Redmond (lower body)