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Preview: Wild at Jets

Forwards Zach Parise, Jason Pominville of Minnesota remain out with mumps; defenseman Toby Enstrom returns for Winnipeg

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (40-14-6) at JETS (28-29-6)

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

 

Wild team scope 

Minnesota Wild forwards Zach Parise and Jason Pominville each will miss his second straight game with the mumps when the Wild look to extend their Central Division and Western Conference lead to five points against the Chicago Blackhawks. "Hopefully we get through these next couple of days and no one else comes down with any symptoms," forward Eric Staal said Monday after a 5-4 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings. Forward Ryan White had a goal and an assist in his debut for the Wild after acquired with forward Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. Hanzal was held without a point. "I just think letting them play to their strengths and not trying inundating them with 100 different things we do that was different than what they did," coach Bruce Boudreau said of White's and Hanzal's debuts with Minnesota. "Everybody at this level is all grown up playing hockey, they know how to play. Just give them a couple little pointers of what we might do different then Arizona, and then let them play and go at it. They'll learn as time goes on." The Wild held an optional skate on Tuesday. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is expected to start.

 

Jets team scope 

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom will be back in the lineup Tuesday after missing five games with a lower-body injury. Enstrom's return comes at a good time for the Jets, who will be without defenseman Jacob Trouba, serving the second game of a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone on Feb. 19. "Puck movement first, but that's not just in the neutral zone but in his own end, his ability to go back and get it under heavy pressure," coach Paul Maurice said of what Enstrom brings to the lineup. "And then just some of the real good defensive reads he makes. He moves the puck and starts transitions very well." The Jets are five points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, trying to make the postseason for the second time since moving to Winnipeg in 2011. "There's obviously a desire to make the playoffs and the good news is we're not where we were last year, where it would take a miracle to get there," forward Blake Wheeler said. "We have an opportunity here. With that being said, it's going to be a tough road ahead of us and we've got to get started here [Tuesday]. We rebounded after that tough homestand and clawed our way back into it." The Jets were 3-0-2 on their five-game road trip before their five-day break. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck will make his seventh straight start.

 

Wild projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Ryan White

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Tyler Graovac -- Martin Hanzal -- Charlie Coyle

Chris Stewart -- Erik Haula -- Jordan Schroeder

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella -- Matt Dumba

Christian Folin -- Jonas Brodin

Darcy Kuemper

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Nate Prosser

Injured: Victor Bartley (arm), Zach Parise (mumps), Jason Pominville (mumps)

 
Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Bryan Little -- Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault -- Mark Scheifele -- Patrik Laine

Shawn Matthias -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Chris Thorburn -- Nic Petan -- Drew Stafford

Toby Enstrom -- Dustin Byfuglien

Josh Morrissey -- Ben Chiarot

Mark Stuart -- Paul Postma

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Julian Melchiori, Jacob Trouba

Injured: Marko Dano (lower body), Tyler Myers (lower body), Ondrej Pavelec (lower body), Andrew Copp (upper body)

 

Status report

Dano, Copp and Pavelec each have returned to practice with the Jets, but none will play Tuesday. 

 

Who's hot

Granlund has six points (four goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak and has 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in his past 21 games. … Koivu has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in his past six games. … Niederreiter has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past nine games. … Laine has 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak. … Scheifele has 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in his past 12 games.

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