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Preview: Jets at Flyers

Philadelphia's Shayne Gostisbehere is healthy scratch; Winnipeg begins five-game trip

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

JETS (9-7-2) at FLYERS (7-7-3)

7 p.m. ET; CSN-PH, TSN3, NHL.TV

 

Jets team scope

The Winnipeg Jets selected center Mark Scheifele with the seventh pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, one spot before the Philadelphia Flyers picked center Sean Couturier. They were teammates with Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, and it's likely that Scheifele, who shares the League's scoring lead, and Couturier, the Flyers' top defensive center, will see a lot of each other. "He's a solid player," Scheifele said of Couturier. "He plays all ends of the ice. The big thing I learned is his offensive game is very good as well. … He's a tough guy to play against. It'll be a tough test, but it's a good challenge. You definitely relish those opportunities." Scheifele has 21 points, tied with Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning, for first in the League. Scheifele set NHL highs in goals (29) and points (61) last season, and coach Paul Maurice isn't surprised that he's on pace to better those numbers. "It's the benefits of his approach that hasn't changed from the first day of meeting him from his first year in the NHL," Maurice said. "He spends the entire summer focused on training so he's bigger and stronger. He studies it from the bench. He talks to all the players at the World Cup and comes back and tells you something about each player. He studies the game. With Mark it's that he's reaping the benefits of the hard work and he's extremely dedicated to being a great professional hockey player. He's benefiting from all the time he puts into it." This is the opener of a season-long five-game road trip for the Jets.

 

Flyers team scope

Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, a Calder Trophy finalist in 2015-16, will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season. "It's not a small thing to have Shayne out of our lineup, yet it's a good thing for him in his growth and his development and a few things we're asking him to concentrate on," coach Dave Hakstol said. Gostisbehere has 10 points in 17 games and his 21:08 average ice time leads Flyers defensemen. But he's minus-4 and has been on the ice for 36 goals scored at 5-on-5, third-most among Flyers defensemen, according to BehindTheNet.ca. "I was a little taken aback by it but right now I think it's what's best for the team I guess," Gostisbehere said. "I can learn a lot from up there." Part of that learning curve is adjusting to the different ways teams are playing him. "Guys in the League know him now, they didn't last year," defenseman Mark Streit said. "They knew he was a good, skilled player. But then you get defended differently. It's part of the League. Guys are smart, they do video and they try different ways of defending that. It's just part of the business and just something you have to get used to." Hakstol said he didn't envision Gostisbehere being out of the lineup very long, and said a night to watch things from the press box could be beneficial in the long run. "Sometimes to be able to take a step back, watch things, address some things by coming out of the lineup, has a way of moving a player past some of those things," he said.

 

Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mark Scheifele -- Patrik Laine

Marko Dano -- Nic Petan -- Blake Wheeler

Andrew Copp -- Adam Lowry -- Brandon Tanev

Quinton Howden -- Alexander Burmistrov -- Chris Thorburn

Josh Morrissey -- Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom -- Jacob Trouba

Ben Chiarot -- Paul Postma

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Chase De Leo

Injured: Bryan Little (lower body), Drew Stafford (upper body), Mark Stuart (lower body), Shawn Matthias (lower body), Joel Armia (lower body), Mathieu Perreault (upper body), Tyler Myers (lower body), Kyle Connor (upper body)

 

Flyers projected lineup

Brayden Schenn -- Claude Giroux -- Wayne Simmonds

Travis Konecny -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Michael Raffl -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Matt Read

Chris VandeVelde -- Nick Cousins -- Dale Weise

Michael Del Zotto -- Mark Streit

Ivan Provorov -- Andrew MacDonald

Brandon Manning -- Radko Gudas

Steve Mason

Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Roman Lyubimov, Nick Schultz, Shayne Gostisbehere

Injured: Boyd Gordon (upper body), Michal Neuvirth (lower body)

 

Status report

Stafford, who has been out since Oct. 25, was a full participant in the morning skate and Maurice said there's a chance he could play at the Boston Bruins on Saturday. "He has to go through a hard, full-contact [practice] today and feel good tomorrow and maybe throw him through another one," Maurice said. "He's cleared for contact and now he has to get through that contact." Little came out at the end of the morning skate wearing a non-contact jersey. … Hakstol would not comment on who would replace Gostisbehere but it could be MacDonald, who has missed the past six games because of a lower-body injury. He was a full participant in the morning skate and Hakstol said he is a healthy option.

 

Who's hot

Scheifele has five goals and seven assists in his past seven games. … Voracek has four goals and five assists in his past nine games.

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