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Preview: Wild at Jets

Ondrej Pavelec again in goal for Winnipeg; Minnesota seeking consistency

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

WILD (34-12-5) at JETS (25-26-4)

8 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV

Wild team scope

The Minnesota Wild finish a four-game road trip through Western Canada on Tuesday. They are 2-1-0 so far. The Wild lead the Western Conference with 73 points; it's the latest point in a season the Wild have led the conference standings. They also lead the NHL with 39 points on the road. "We're playing good some nights," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When we went through that 12-game winning streak we were pretty solid every night. I think we go back and forth here. We're trying to get our consistency back to where it was. We're like a lot of teams. Our record might be better than we are playing right now."

Jets team scope

The Winnipeg Jets begin a four-game homestand after going 3-1-0 on their four-game road trip. They have lost twice to the Wild this season (0-2-0) but are 13-5-1 in the Central Division. This will be their fifth of a six-game stretch against Central rivals. "This is a great test for us tonight," coach Paul Maurice said. "They score more than we do and they're the best defensive team on our side. The things we need to improve at as a hockey club are going to get tested here tonight. There's not going to be any easy offense. You go out there and say, 'Hey, if you just play your game you're going to be fine.' And you play your game and you're still not getting anything from them." Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal for the eighth time in nine games since he was recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Jan. 17. "We had a really good road trip and we want to keep going and getting wins," Pavelec said. "We have tough teams coming into our building and you have to be strong at home to make the playoffs."

Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Eric Staal -- Alex Tuch

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Nino Niederreiter -- Charlie Coyle -- Jason Pominville

Chris Stewart -- Erik Haula -- Tyler Graovac

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella -- Matt Dumba

Nate Prosser -- Mike Reilly

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Jordan Schroeder, Christian Folin

Injured: Victor Bartley (arm), Jonas Brodin (finger)

 

Jets projected lineup

Andrew Copp -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Bryan Little -- Patrik Laine

Shawn Matthias -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Mathieu Perreault -- Nic Petan v Drew Stafford

Josh Morrissey -- Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom -- Jacob Trouba

Mark Stuart -- Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec

Connor Hellebuyck

Scratched: Michael Hutchinson, Chris Thorburn, Julian Melchiori

Injured: Marko Dano (lower body), Tyler Myers (lower body), Ben Chiarot (lower body)

Status report

Coyle shifted to center between Niederreiter and Pominville, and Haula moved to the fourth line between Stewart and Graovac. Boudreau said Brodin, who is skating at home, remains about 10 days from returning. … Myers had surgery Monday to repair a lower-body injury. The Jets hope he'll return before the end of the regular season. Stafford was activated from injured reserve list. Forward Brandon Tanev was re-assigned to Manitoba.

Who's hot

Granlund has five goals and 12 assists during a 12-game point streak, the longest in the NHL this season. Koivu has three goals and two assists in the past five games. Zucker has two goals and four assists during a four-game point streak. … Wheeler has one goal and six assists during a five-game point streak. Laine has two goals and four assists in five games since returning from a concussion.

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