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Maurice sees Jets responding to success

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice has 10 games under his belt since taking over Jan. 12. The Jets' 8-2-0 mark ties the best 10-game stretch in franchise history.

As a result the Jets have gone from the far edges of the Stanley Cup Playoff chase to just four points behind the eighth-place Vancouver Canucks. Mauricehas managed to get the most out of his new team without an overhaul.

"In the games toward the end when the coach is in trouble, you can see it in the players' body language," Maurice said. "But here they were going, they were trying. They just needed a little adjustment, a little refocus. There were a lot of good things in the Winnipeg Jets' game and we tried to keep those."

Maurice felt the players were beginning to feel the pressure of playing in a market where wins and losses are scrutinized closely. With the recent run of success the players are reacting differently.

"They're listening to the coach, but more importantly they're talking to each other," Maurice said. "That's the big thing here. Now the bench is talking, they're talking on the bus. They're re-establishing those positive relationships because they have a reason to feel good about themselves."

Hurricanes defenseman Ron Hainsey spent the past five seasons with the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise. He's seen past teams go on hot streaks so he's not surprised to see Winnipeg on a roll.

"My assumption is they want to be a playoff team at the very least and they're clawing their way back," Hainsey said. "We'll be expecting a tough game, no question."

Hurricanes goaltender Anton Khudobin, the NHL's First Star of the Month for January, will make his seventh straight start and 15th straight appearance. Cam Ward will serve as his backup after being sidelined with a knee injury since Dec. 31. Ward made two starts with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League during the weekend, stopping 59 of 63 shots.

Here are the probable lineups for Winnipeg and Carolina:


Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Michael Frolik

Chris Thorburn - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Devin Setoguchi - Olli Jokinen - Dustin Byfuglien

Eric Tangradi - James Wright - Anthony Peluso

Zach Bogosian - Tobias Enstrom

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Adam Pardy - Keaton Ellerby

Ondrej Pavelec

Al Montoya

Scratched: Eric O'Dell, Zach Redmond

Injured: Grant Clitsome (back), Matt Halischuk (forearm), Evander Kane (hand), Jim Slater (sports hernia)


Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Jeff Skinner - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm

Nathan Gerbe - Manny Malhotra - Patrick Dwyer

Drayson Bowman - Riley Nash - Tuomo Ruutu

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Ron Hainsey - John-Michael Liles

Brett Bellemore - Jay Harrison

Anton Khudobin

Cam Ward

Scratched: Radek Dvorak, Mike Komisarek, Justin Peters

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