WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets (2-1-1) look to build on their best start since the 2009-10 season when they greet the New York Islanders on Sunday night at MTS Centre.
Winnipeg is fresh off a come-from-behind 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night in which they rattled off four unanswered goals against veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun. But they will be up against an Islanders club that took both meetings at MTS Centre -- and three of the teams’ four meetings -- last season.
Despite the win against Pittsburgh, Jets coach Claude Noel is taking a cautious approach to facing the Islanders.
“We’re aware of what they are,” Noel said of meeting the Islanders. “They’re playing pretty well. They’re not a team that we want to take lightly, that’s for sure.”
Noel elected to have offseason addition Al Montoya make his debut in net for Winnipeg against his former Islanders teammates.
“I just want to try to get Al playing,” Noel said. “He needs to be part of our group. Pavelec has played all of the games, and there have been some emotional games. It’s good that [Montoya] play here in our building and get a feel for that stuff.”
Noel will return with the rest of the lineup Friday against the Islanders, meaning that prospect Mark Scheifele will miss his second consecutive game after dressing for the Jets’ first three contests.
Here is the projected lineup for the Jets:
Evander Kane – Olli Jokinen – Blake Wheeler
Andrew Ladd – Nikolai Antropov – Bryan Little
Alexei Ponikarovsky – Alex Burmistrov – Kyle Wellwood
James Wright – Jim Slater – Chris Thorburn
Tobias Enstrom – Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart – Ron Hainsey
Grant Clitsome – Paul Postma
Injured: Zach Bogosian, Antti Miettinen
Scratched: Anthony Peluso, Mark Scheifele