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Sharks host Jets, who lose Kane at least two weeks

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com

JETS (1-0-0) at SHARKS (1-0-0)

TV: SN360, CSN-CA

SAN JOSE -- The Winnipeg Jets will begin adjusting to life without injured forward Evander Kane on Saturday night when they face the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; SN360).

Kane will be sidelined for at least two weeks and probably longer, but coach Paul Maurice said Saturday he considered that "better news" than he expected.

Kane was injured Thursday night early in the first period of a 6-2 victory against the Arizona Coyotes in a knee-on-knee collision with linemate Mark Scheifele. He underwent tests on Friday.

"Evander's got a lower-body injury that's going to keep him out of the lineup for a period of time," Maurice said after the Jets' morning skate at SAP Center. "He's going to get reevaluated in two weeks and after that it will be on a week to week basis. There's a big area on how long it takes to heal these things up. To be quite honest with you, it's actually better news than I was expecting. I really was not hopeful yesterday. … So, better news, but he is going to be out of our lineup for the near future."

Dustin Byfuglien will move from the third line to the top line and take Kane's spot, skating with Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. Matt Halischuk will move into the lineup on the third line with center Mathieu Perreault and left wing Adam Lowry.

"We're going to deal with it," Maurice said. "You wanted more than two minutes of ice time to get a feel for your lineup. That didn't help, but we've had some things that have stayed together. Byfuglien's spent some time with Scheifele and Wheeler. I think they like playing with each other. They had some success doing that.

"(Halischuk) had to come in and fight for a job on the team and earn a job. And then he's just a great pro. He's in fantastic shape. He studies the game, he knows the systems and he has a consistent level every shift. We're expecting him to be good on that line."

The Sharks are coming off a 4-0 victory Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Goaltender Antti Niemi had a shutout against the Kings, but Alex Stalock will start against Winnipeg in the Sharks home opener.

"Their play throughout camp has warranted that they both get the net here for a little while and then they'll sort it out," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.

Last season Niemi was the Sharks clear-cut No. 1 goaltender, and Stalock didn't make his first start until Oct. 27 in San Jose's 12th game. Stalock said getting some early work should help him this season.

"But you got to earn your playing time," Stalock said. "I think I came in ready to go in training camp. Get a chance early and see where it goes from here."

Here are the projected lineups:

JETS

Dustin Byfuglien - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Michael Frolik

Adam Lowry - Mathieu Perreault - Matt Halischuk

TJ Galiardi - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn

Zach Bogosian - Jacob Trouba

Mark Stuart - Tobias Enstrom

Adam Pardy - Grant Clitsome

Ondrej Pavelec

Michael Hutchinson

Scriatched: Anthony Peluso, Paul Postma

Injured: Evander Kane (right knee)

SHARKS

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Matt Nieto

Tye McGinn - Chris Tierney - Tommy Wingels

Adam Burish - Andrew Desjardins - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Brent Burns - Mirco Mueller

Scott Hannan - Jason Demers

Alex Stalock

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Matt Irwin, John Scott

Injured: Barclay Goodrow (left hand), James Sheppard (left knee), Tyler Kennedy (upper body), Raffi Torres (right knee)

Status report: Sharks forward Eriah Hayes cleared waivers and was assigned to Worcester of the American Hockey League. … Sheppard skated again and appears close to being activated. Sheppard stayed on the ice long after most of his teammates left and did battles along the boards with Irwin. … The Jets will face the Kings on Sunday in their first back-to-back test of the season, but Maurice declined to say whether Hutchison, his backup goaltender, would make his first start of the season.

Who's hot: Wingels scored two goals against the Kings, tying his career high. … Marleau opened the season with a goal and an assist against Los Angeles. … Burns had two assists against the Kings. … Little and Wheeler each scored two goals in the Jets opener against Arizona. Wheeler added an assist for a three-point game. … Byfuglien scored a goal and was a plus-3 in against the Coyotes.

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