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Preview: Jets at Devils

Forward Patrik Laine, defenseman Dustin Byfuglien return to Winnipeg lineup at New Jersey

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

JETS (34-35-7) at DEVILS (27-35-13)

7 p.m. ET; MSG, TSN3, NHL.TV


Jets team scope

Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will return to the lineup. Laine missed a 2-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday because of an illness and Byfuglien missed the past two games with a lower-body injury. Laine, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, is tied with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews with 61 points (34 goals, 27 assists) in the NHL rookie scoring race. The Jets, 4-2-0 in their past six games, were eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention when the St. Louis Blues defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 on Monday. "I think there's a lot to play for, we feel we want to keep building," defenseman Josh Morrissey said. "We have a young group so for us it's about continuing to work on our game. Individually you can't take any day in the NHL for granted so you want to keep pushing yourself as a player. As young players, we want to continue to get better and keep the pace up. Guys are playing and auditioning for jobs next year." The Jets are 7-1-2 in their past 10 games against the New Jersey Devils but 4-8-2 against teams from the Metropolitan Division this season. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is expected to make his 51st start. He is 1-1-0 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .878 save percentage in two games against the Devils.


Devils team scope

The Devils, also eliminated from playoff contention, have lost three straight and are 2-12-3 in their past 17 games. The game against the Jets was originally scheduled for March 14 but was postponed because of a severe winter storm. Goaltender Cory Schneider is expected to make his 56th start. He is 3-4-0 with a 2.16 GAA and .928 save percentage in seven games against the Jets. "We have to play with some pride here because we've only won two of the last 17 and that's not acceptable no matter what the situation," Schneider said. "Guys that are here and will be here in the future have to help turn that around and play with some pride. We need to be upset with how things have gone down the last week or so. Hopefully set the tone and culture for next season." Left wing Taylor Hall has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 10 games against the Jets. The Devils play their final game against a Western Conference opponent; they are 10-11-6 against the conference this season. Defenseman Michael Kapla was signed to a two-year, entry-level contract on Tuesday and will report to New Jersey.


Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault -- Bryan Little -- Patrik Laine

Andrew Copp -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Brandon Tanev -- Nic Petan -- Chris Thorburn

Julian Melchiori - Dustin Byfuglien

Josh Morrissey -- Jacob Trouba

Mark Stuart -- Nelson Nogier

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Marko Dano, Brenden Kitchton, Brian Strait

Injured: Toby Enstrom (concussion), Tyler Myers (lower body), Ondrej Pavelec (lower body), Shawn Matthias (upper body), Paul Postma (lower body), Ben Chiarot (upper body)


Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Joseph Blandisi -- Adam Henrique -- Beau Bennett

John Quenneville -- Pavel Zacha -- Stefan Noesen

Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman -- Blake Pietila

Andy Greene -- Ben Lovejoy

Dalton Prout -- Steven Santini

John Moore -- Damon Severson

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Jon Merrill

Injured: Jacob Josefson (upper body), Michael Cammalleri (upper body), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body)


Status report

Dano is a healthy scratch for the third time in his past four games. "He needs to outperform the guys ahead of him," coach Paul Maurice said. ... Maurice said a decision on if Postma will require surgery will be made in the next few days. ... Cammalleri, who will miss his 13th straight game, might be able to play at the New York Islanders on Friday. … Josefson (13 games missed) could be back in the lineup next week, and Smith-Pelly (eight games missed) is week to week.


Who's hot

Scheifele has 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) in his past 18 games. ... Perreault has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in a six-game point streak. ... Palmieri has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his past eight games.

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