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Jets at Wild preview

Niederreiter returns for Minnesota; Hellebuyck in goal for Winnipeg

by Jessi Pierce / Correspondent

JETS (5-3-2) at WILD (4-3-2)

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


The Game

Forward Nino Niederreiter will return to the lineup when the Minnesota Wild play the Winnipeg Jets at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday. 

Niederreiter missed six games with a high left ankle sprain sustained in a 5-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 12. 

Goaltender Alex Stalock (1-0-1) will make his third start for the Wild. He's 3-0-0 with two shutouts, a 0.73 goals-against average and a .967 save percentage against the Jets. 

Goalie Connor Hellebuyck will start for Winnipeg. He's 5-0-1 with a 2.05 GAA and .937 save percentage. 

Players to watch

Jets forward Blake Wheeler has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past four games. He had four points against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, including a hat trick in 4:20 of the first period that broke Ilya Kovalchuk's Winnipeg/Atlanta Thrashers record for the fastest three goals scored in a period (6:51) set on Feb. 15, 2009.

Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon has five points (goal, four assists) in his past four games. He leads the Wild with seven assists and his eight points are tied with forward Chris Stewart (six goals, two assists) for first.


They said it

"With [Minnesota] we've always played one-goal games. The vast majority of them are just grinders and we'll expect that here tonight. They're coming off a win and so are we, so both teams are confident right now." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice

"He's a big strong guy that averages 25 goals a year. It's his first game back in six, and sometimes you get a little rusty when that happens, but at the same time it's good to have him back." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on Niederreiter's return


Jets projected lineup

Kyle Connor -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Bryan Little -- Patrik Laine

Brandon Tanev -- Andrew Copp -- Shawn Matthias

Brendan Lemieux -- Matt Hendricks - Joel Armia

Josh Morrissey -- Jacob Trouba

Toby Enstrom -- Dustin Byfuglien

Dmitry Kulikov -- Tyler Myers

Connor Hellebuyck

Steve Mason

Scratched: Tucker Poolman, Marko Dano

Injured: Adam Lowry (upper body), Mathieu Perreault (lower body)


Wild projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Luke Kunin

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Chris Stewart

Daniel Winnik -- Matt Cullen -- Tyler Ennis

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Mike Reilly -- Jonas Brodin

Kyle Quincey -- Matt Dumba

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Gustav Olofsson

Injured: Zach Parise (back), Charlie Coyle (fibula), Landon Ferraro (hip)


Status report

Lowry wore a yellow no-contact jersey during the morning skate. He's possible for the game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.


Stat pack

The Jets are 22-for-26 (84.6 percent) on the penalty kill in their past eight games, including 10-for-11 in their past three, after allowing four power-play goals in their first two games this season. … Staal leads all Wild players with 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) in 69 games against the Jets.

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