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game preview

Jets at Rangers preview

Panarin, Kakko, Trouba debuting for New York; Laine, Connor expected to play for Winnipeg

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

JETS (0-0-0) at RANGERS (0-0-0)

7 p.m. ET; MSG, TSN3, NHL.TV 

 

The Game

Artemi Panarin, Kaapo Kakko and Jacob Trouba will make their debuts with the New York Rangers when they open their season against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

Panarin, a left wing, signed a seven-year, $81.5 million contract July 1. Kakko, a right wing, was the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Trouba will be facing his former team. The Rangers acquired the defenseman in a trade with Winnipeg on June 17 that included defenseman Neal Pionk going to the Jets. Trouba had 179 points (42 goals, 137 assists) in 408 games with the Jets from 2013-19.

Jets forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor are expected to play after signing new contracts last week. Winnipeg defenseman Ville Heinola and Rangers defenseman Adam Fox will also make their NHL debuts.

 

Players to watch

Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey could play more minutes because of the absence of Dustin Byfuglien, who is suspended while on a personal leave of absence. Morrissey had 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) and averaged 22:24 per game in 59 games last season.

Rangers forward Artemi Panarin had 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists) in 79 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season. He has 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in six games at the Garden.

 

They said it

"A lot of people are expecting us to not make the playoffs and that's something we're going to prove wrong. We have a good team. We have so much skill in this team. … I think we'll be real dangerous." -- Jets forward Patrik Laine

"Guys look happy in practice, a lot of smiles, a lot of laughter. I feel we're maybe not as tense in that sense. … It's a feeling in here, you can tell that the guys are ready." -- Rangers center Mika Zibanejad

 

Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Kyle Connor -- Andrew Copp -- Patrik Laine

Mathieu Perreault -- Adam Lowry -- Gabriel Bourque

Mason Appleton -- Mark Letestu -- Jack Roslovic

Josh Morrissey -- Dmitry Kulikov

Ville Heinola -- Neal Pionk

Anthony Bitetto -- Tucker Poolman

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: David Gustafsson, Carl Dahlstrom

Injured: Bryan Little (concussion), Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)

Suspended: Dustin Byfuglien

 

Rangers projected lineup 

Artemi Panarin -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Chris Kreider -- Ryan Strome -- Kaapo Kakko

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Brett Howden -- Jesper Fast

Brendan Lemieux -- Lias Andersson -- Brendan Smith

Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Libor Hajek -- Adam Fox

Henrik Lundqvist

Alexandar Georgiev

Scratched: Micheal Haley, Greg McKegg

Injured: None

 

Status report

Little skated Thursday for the first time since being diagnosed with a concussion Tuesday. … Dahlstrom joined the Jets for the first time Thursday. They claimed him off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. He flew to New York from Prague, where the Blackhawks are playing in the 2019 NHL Global Series. He could play at the New Jersey Devils on Friday, coach Paul Maurice said.

 

Stat pack

Lundqvist will be making his 14th consecutive start in a season-opening game with the Rangers, making him the second goalie in NHL history to start at least 14 straight season openers with the same team. Martin Brodeur started 18 straight with the Devils. Lundqvist needs one win to become the sixth goalie in NHL history with at least 450.

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