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Preview: Jets at Penguins

Sidney Crosby tries for 1,000th point; Winnipeg without defenseman Toby Enstrom

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

JETS (26-29-4) at PENGUINS (35-13-7)

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

 

Jets team scope

The Winnipeg Jets will be without defenseman Toby Enstrom, who underwent surgery Thursday to repair a lower-body injury. Enstrom, who didn't play in a 5-2 win against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, is expected to return in 2-3 weeks, coach Paul Maurice said. Goalie Ondrej Pavelec traveled with the Jets but will not play. Pavelec, who has missed three games since sustaining a lower-body injury against the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 7, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck will start after making 34 saves in the win against the Stars. He is 1-2-0 in three starts since Pavelec's injury. Forward Patrik Laine could help Hellebuyck to a second straight win if he picks up where he left off Tuesday, when he had a hat trick. "It gets easier all the time," Laine said. "I try to produce some good things on the ice and it's been a good season so far." It's the first of four straight road games for the Jets before they get their bye from Feb. 22-27. They enter the game six points behind the Calgary Flames for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

 

Penguins team scope

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby again will try to reach 1,000 NHL points. Crosby is one point from becoming the 86th player to reach that milestone after he had an assist in a 4-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. He had gone without a point in his previous two games. "I'll try to enjoy it and get it here at home. It would be nice to get," Crosby said. "I'll try to enjoy it, but still just focus on the game." In 30 career games against the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise, Crosby has 47 points (15 goals, 32 assists). Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will start the first game of a back-to-back after Matt Murray played Tuesday. He hasn't started at home since Jan. 8, when he made 28 saves in a 6-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. "It's miserable to not play. It [stinks]," defenseman Ian Cole said. "Enough can't be said for how he's handled it, for how mature he's been through the whole thing. The Penguins' 77 points are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for second in the Metropolitan Division, seven points behind the Washington Capitals. The Penguins are 5-0-2 during a seven-game point streak and 6-2-2 in their past 10 games. They are 23-3-3 at home this season. In addition to Crosby, forward Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang also could reach milestones. Malkin needs two assists for 500 in the NHL. He had one goal and one assist Tuesday. Letang will play his 600th NHL game. He has 381 points (87 goals, 294 assists) in his first 599.

 

Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Bryan Little -- Patrik Laine

Mathieu Perreault -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Shawn Matthias -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Chris Thorburn -- Nic Petan -- Drew Stafford

Ben Chiarot -- Dustin Byfuglien

Josh Morrissey -- Jacob Trouba

Mark Stuart -- Paul Postma

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Julian Melchiori

Injured: Ondrej Pavelec (concussion), Toby Enstrom (lower body), Andrew Copp (upper body), Marko Dano (lower body)

 

Penguins projected lineup

Chris Kunitz -- Sidney Crosby -- Jake Guentzel

Scott Wilson -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Matt Cullen -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Carter Rowney -- Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Olli Maatta -- Trevor Daley

Marc-Andre Fleury

Matt Murray

Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel, Josh Archibald

Injured : Conor Sheary (upper body), Carl Hagelin (concussion), Bryan Rust (upper body)

 

Status report

Copp will not play; he's day-to-day. … Hagelin, who has missed four games, wore a regular white jersey at the morning skate but did not take part in line rushes.

 

Who's hot

Scheifele has six goals and 11 assists in his past 14 games. He had three assists against the Stars on Tuesday. … Malkin had two points in his return from a lower-body injury Tuesday. He is second on the Penguins with 23 goals and 56 points, behind Crosby (30 goals, 61 points).

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