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Jets at Penguins preview

Murray looks to win seventh straight start; Hendricks expected to make Winnipeg debut

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

JETS (4-3-0) at PENGUINS (6-3-1)

7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, TSN3, NHL.TV 


The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets each will try to win for the fifth time in six games when they meet at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.

Pittsburgh is looking for a second straight win following a 2-1 overtime victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. Pittsburgh is 4-1-0 in its past five games and 6-2-1 since beginning the season 0-1-1.

The Jets, who will play the front end of a back-to-back after having five days off, have enjoyed a similar 4-1-0 stretch since being outscored 13-5 in their first two games of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames.

Center Matt Hendricks was activated from injured reserve Wednesday and is expected to make his Jets debut after missing their first seven games with a lower-body injury.

Players to watch

Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers has eight points (six goals, two assists) in his past five games. He has scored at least one goal in four of those five.

Penguins goaltender Matt Murray has won six straight starts since allowing 11 goals on 65 shots in his first two appearances this season. He surrendered one goal on 30 shots against the Oilers on Tuesday.


They said it

"Especially based on the opponent, we have to be prepared to play a real fast game." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice

"I feel fine right now. … Having a day off allows me to rest and be ready for tonight." -- Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, expected to play after a maintenance day Wednesday


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)


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Conor Sheary

Bryan Rust -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin -- Riley Sheahan -- Patric Hornqvist

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Greg McKegg -- Ryan Reaves

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Chad Ruhwedel

Ian Cole -- Zach Trotman

Matt Murray

Casey DeSmith

Scratched: Josh Archibald, Frank Corrado

Injured: Matt Hunwick (concussion), Carter Rowney (hand), Justin Schultz (concussion)


Status report

Kulikov could play after missing two games with a lower-body injury. … The Penguins placed Schultz on injured reserve Thursday after he sustained a concussion against Edmonton and recalled Corrado from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. Corrado is expected to be scratched, with Trotman likely making his Penguins debut.


Stat pack

Kessel has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past six games. He is one goal shy of 300 in his NHL career. … Malkin has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past four games. … Crosby scored his 1,000th NHL point the last time he faced Winnipeg at home on Feb. 16, when he had three points (one goal, two assists).

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