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Little leaves early with injury

NHL.com @NHL
WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets went three steps forward and one step back in the injury department on Saturday night.

Defensemen Tobias Enstrom returned from a 20-game absence to the Winnipeg blue line. The Jets also regained the services of forwards Nikolai Antropov and Alexander Burmistrov after injuries sidelined the pair for two games apiece.

But center Bryan Little may take the trio's spot on the injury list after he left Saturday's game midway through the first period with an undisclosed injury after a shot struck him. Little, who has dressed for all 32 games this season, has been a durable presence for the club and has missed only 12 games over his past three seasons. Little's night ended with 5:05 of ice time on five shifts.

Jets coach Claude Noel termed Little's status as "day-to-day," but his absence would leave a major hole in Winnipeg's top line. Little has nine goals and six assists over his past 14 games. His seven-game point streak ended in Thursday's 1-0 loss to the Washington Capitals. Little's 11 goals rank second on the club, and his 20 points tie him for fourth in team scoring.

Little also offers the Jets a right-handed shot on face-off draws, and his 618 face-offs taken this season place him seventh in the League.

If Noel can take one positive, it is that Enstrom emerged unscathed after facing a very physical Anaheim team that did not hesitate to test Enstrom physically.

"I feel great," Enstrom said.

Enstrom logged 18:53 of ice time in a pairing with another recent injury returnee, Ron Hainsey. Noel was pleased with his workhorse defenseman, given the circumstances.

"I thought that he was good, but that he was tentative in some areas." Noel said of Enstrom, "But you can't blame him for that."
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