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Jets at Penguins preview

Morrissey, Kulikov won't play in Winnipeg trip finale; Pittsburgh missing Malkin, Bjugstad

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

JETS (1-2-0) at PENGUINS (1-1-0)



The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad when they host the Winnipeg Jets at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

Each center sustained a lower-body injury during a 7-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. Malkin and Bjugstad were placed on injured reserve Monday and are expected to be out long term.

Jared McCann will play second-line center in place of Malkin. Teddy Blueger will likely replace Bjugstad at third-line center.

The Jets, who are concluding a season-opening four-game road trip, will be without defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who was granted a personal leave. He is celebrating the birth of his second child, according to a post from his wife's Instagram page.

Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey will miss his second straight game after sustaining an upper-body injury during warmups prior to a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday.


Players to watch

Jets forward Mark Scheifele has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 11 games against the Penguins. He has three points (one goal, two assists) in three games this season.

Penguins forward Brandon Tanev will face his former team for the first time since signing with Pittsburgh on July 1. He played his first four NHL seasons with the Jets.


They said it

"It's all about growth for that blue line. We've got new pairings. ... You've got to rally some guys. Have lots of confidence in their ability to move the puck." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice on Winnipeg's defensemen

"When the puck drops, there's no friends on the ice." -- Penguins forward Brandon Tanev


Jets projected lineup

Patrik Laine -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Kyle Connor -- Andrew Copp -- Nikolaj Ehlers

Gabriel Bourque -- Adam Lowry -- Mark Letestu

Mathieu Perreault -- Jack Roslovic -- Mason Appleton

Ville Heinola -- Neal Pionk

Anthony Bitetto -- Tucker Poolman

Carl Dahlstrom -- Sami Niku

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: David Gustafsson, Dmitry Kulikov, Nelson Nogier

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

Suspended: Dustin Byfuglien


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Dominik Simon

Alex Galchenyuk -- Jared McCann -- Brandon Tanev

Zach Aston-Reese -- Teddy Blueger -- Patric Hornqvist

Sam Lafferty -- Andrew Agozzino -- Dominik Kahun

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson -- Justin Schultz

Jack Johnson -- Erik Gudbranson

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Juuso Riikola, John Marino, Chad Ruhwedel

Injured: Evgeni Malkin (lower body), Nick Bjugstad (lower body), Bryan Rust (upper body)


Status report

The Jets placed Little on injured reserve and recalled Niku and Nogier from Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. ... Agozzino is expected to play his first game for the Penguins. He has played 21 NHL games, all with the Colorado Avalanche, across three seasons since 2014. ... Lafferty could make his NHL debut.


Stat pack

Wheeler needs one point to reach 700 in the NHL. He has three points (two goals, one assist) in three games this season. ... Crosby is one point from passing Jean Beliveau for sole possession of 41st on the NHL's all-time points list with 1,220. He has three assists in two games this season.

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