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Jets at Oilers preview

Winnipeg tied for first wild card in West; McDavid back for Edmonton

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

JETS (36-28-6) at OILERS (37-24-9)

9 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, NHL.TV 

 

The Game

Connor McDavid will return to the lineup and help the Edmonton Oilers try to move closer to first in the Pacific Division when they play the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Place on Wednesday. 

The center missed a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday with an illness. Edmonton trails first-place Vegas by three points and is 4-1-1 in its past six games.

The Jets are on a three-game winning streak and tied with the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Winnipeg is 10-5-1 in its past 16 games.

 

Players to watch

Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck is 4-1-0 with a 1.21 goals-against average, .960 save percentage and two shutouts in his past five games. 

Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in a six-game point streak.

 

They said it

"Just how close the standings are right now and how important these points are for all the teams that we're going to play on this trip, every game is a four-point game and anytime you're playing a Canadian team, the stakes are a little higher, the intensity is a little higher, the buildings are usually a little bit more rowdy and that makes it more exciting." -- Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey  

"We're still having fun. Winning games is fun and being a part of this is fun. Playing meaningful games right now is exciting and we're in a good position and we want to keep going and put ourselves in a really good spot." -- Oilers center Connor McDavid 

 

Jets projected lineup

Kyle Connor -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Cody Eakin -- Patrik Laine

Andrew Copp -- Adam Lowry -- Jack Roslovic

Mathieu Perreault -- Nicholas Shore -- Mason Appleton

Josh Morrissey -- Dylan DeMelo

Dmitry Kulikov -- Neal Pionk

Nathan Beaulieu -- Tucker Poolman

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Carl Dahlstrom, Logan Shaw, Gabriel Bourque, Jansen Harkins

Injured: Bryan Little (upper body), Luca Sbisa (upper body), Sami Niku (lower body), Anthony Bitetto (upper body)

 

Oilers projected lineup

Tyler Ennis -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Leon Draisaitl -- Kailer Yamamoto

Andreas Athanasiou -- Riley Sheahan -- Josh Archibald

James Neal -- Jujhar Khaira -- Alex Chiasson

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Caleb Jones -- Kris Russell   

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

Scratched: Gaetan Haas, Patrick Russell, Matt Benning   

Injured: Joakim Nygard (hand), Mike Green (knee)  

 

Status report

Laine did not take part in the morning skate but will play. He's skated in three games after missing Winnipeg's 3-2 loss to Edmonton on Feb. 29 with a lower-body injury. … Yamamoto did not practice Tuesday after taking a hit Monday but will play.

 

Stat pack

Connor is one point from 200 in the NHL. … Wheeler has six assists in a five-game point streak. …. … Draisaitl has 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in his past 10 games. … McDavid has 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in his past eight.

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