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Enstrom of Jets expected to miss eight weeks

Defenseman sustained lower-body injury against Devils on Saturday

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom is expected to miss eight weeks with a lower-body injury.

Enstrom, 33, collided with New Jersey Devils forward Jesper Bratt in the second period of a 5-2 win on Saturday and had to be helped off the ice. He returned for two shifts near the end of the period but did not return for the third period.

"It's definitely tough," forward Mark Scheifele said after practice Sunday. "He's a big part of our team, so it just means we got to step up by committee. We've got a lot of good (defenseman) back there. Just everyone has to step it up a little bit." 

Enstrom has two assists in 19 games and is fifth among Jets defenseman, averaging 16:38 in ice time playing a role on the power play and on the penalty kill. 

"He's been great all year, playing really well," forward Blake Wheeler said. "Any time you lose a guy that eats up a lot of minutes like him it's going to be tough. It'll be an opportunity for some guys to step up. It's kind of what needs to happen. There's going to be injuries throughout the year, you just need guys to step up."

Defenseman Josh Morrissey agreed with Wheeler.

"You just have to adapt," Morrissey said. "You can't replace Toby's experience and what he brings. But at the same time, other guys have to step up. Ben (Chiarot) or (Tucker Poolman) or whoever gets into that spot. They're great players as well. Like I said, the other guys, we just have to step up and take over some of those minutes Toby plays and hope that Toby recovers soon and gets healthy as fast as possible."

Poolman was recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Sunday. He has no points in three games with the Jets this season. 

"It's a tough thing (with Enstrom's injury), but you just got to be ready for a new chance, just be ready for the team," Poolman said. 

The Jets (12-4-3) have won four straight games and are in second place in the Central Division behind the St. Louis Blues (15-5-1). They begin a four-game road trip at the Nashville Predators on Monday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, TSN3, NHL.TV).

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