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Preview: Jets at Lightning

Winnipeg begins three-game road trip; Ryan Callahan returns to Tampa Bay lineup

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

JETS (17-19-3) at LIGHTNING (19-15-4) 

7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, TSN3, NHL.TV

 

Jets team scope

The Winnipeg Jets begin a three-game road trip, including a back-to-back set against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers, after ending 2016 with a 6-2 loss to the New York Islanders at MTS Centre on Dec. 31. "We've put [that] game behind us," forward Mathieu Perreault said. "We are focusing on these next two games. The mood is fine here." Center Adam Lowry said the Jets will have to deal with the speed of the Lightning and the rare opportunity to play teams from the Eastern Conference. "I think the biggest thing is familiarity," Lowry said. "You see the West a lot more and become more familiar with their players and their systems. It's tough with you play a team twice a year. We have played the Lightning well in the past, we know they can move the puck well. Sometimes when you play the East it is a little bit of a different ball game."

 

Lightning team scope

Forward Ryan Callahan will play after missing the past 15 games because of soreness in his surgically repaired hip. Callahan practiced Monday and skated Tuesday. "Anytime you miss a lot of time like this it's the timing [that] is the biggest thing, getting used to game speed again," Callahan said. "No matter how much conditioning you do there's nothing like going out there and playing, taking hits, giving hits. It's obviously going to take a little bit of time to get that down, but I feel comfortable to be back." Forward Adam Erne, who was recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Sunday, will be making his NHL debut. Coach Jon Cooper said he was eager to see what the No. 33 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft could do. "He's developed in the [AHL] and it's hard to find those guys who are big, strong, can skate and possess skill," Cooper said. "He's honed his game down in the American League, he's earned his call up and that's what we are hoping to see."

 

Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mark Scheifele -- Patrik Laine

Mathieu Perreault -- Bryan Little -- Blake Wheeler

Shawn Matthias -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Andrew Copp -- Nic Petan -- Drew Stafford

Josh Morrissey -- Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom -- Jacob Trouba

Ben Chiarot -- Paul Postma

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Mark Stuart, Chris Thorburn

Injured: Tyler Myers (lower body), Marko Dano (lower body)

 

Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Tyler Johnson -- Nikita Kucherov

Ryan Callahan -- Valtteri Filppula -- Jonathan Drouin

Alex Killorn -- Vladislav Namestnikov -- Adam Erne

Michael Bournival -- Matthew Peca -- J.T. Brown

Victor Hedman -- Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison -- Andrej Sustr

Slater Koekkoek -- Braydon Coburn

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Kristers Gudlevskis

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov, Yanni Gourde

Injured: Brian Boyle (lower body), Cedric Paquette (lower body), Steven Stamkos (knee injury), Ben Bishop (lower body), Brayden Point (upper body)

 

Status report

Myers is on the the road trip and participated in the morning skate in a non-contract jersey but there is still no timetable on his return. … Former Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov was claimed by the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. Burmistrov, the No. 8 pick of the 2010 draft, has two assists in 23 games this season. … Paquette took part in the morning skate and could return to the lineup against the Nashville Predators on Thursday. …Cooper said Boyle is unlikely to play for the remainder of the homestand.

 

Who's hot

Trouba has four assists in a three-game point streak. … Wheeler has three goals and four points in his past seven games. … Kucherov has six assists in a four-game point streak. … Palat has two goals and four points in a three-game point streak. … Hedman has two goals and 14 points in his past nine games.

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