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Jets at Golden Knights preview

Winnipeg can clinch playoff berth with win; Vegas aims to gain in Pacific

by Danny Webster / Correspondent

JETS (44-25-4) at GOLDEN KNIGHTS (41-27-5)



The Game

The Winnipeg Jets can clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday.

The Jets look for their fifth straight win which would match their longest streak of the season (Dec. 9-16). Winnipeg leads the Nashville Predators by three points for first place in the Central Division and is playing the second game of a back-to-back after defeating the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 at Honda Center on Wednesday.

Winnipeg would also qualify for the playoffs if it gets one point and the Arizona Coyotes lose in regulation to the Florida Panthers, or if the Chicago Blackhawks lose to the Philadelphia Flyers and the Colorado Avalanche lose to the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

Malcolm Subban will start his third straight game for Vegas, which will try to win for the 10th time in 11 games after losing six of its previous seven (1-5-1). The Golden Knights lead the Coyotes by nine points for third place in the Pacific Division and trail the San Jose Sharks by seven points.


Players to watch

Jets forward Blake Wheeler has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in his past 14 games.

Golden Knights forward Mark Stone has seven points (four goals, three assists) during a six-game point streak.


They said it

"We know it's going to be a tough test. Obviously, them getting Stone was a pretty big pickup, a really elite player in this league. They've been playing really good as of late, so we have to be ready for a real tough one." -- Jets forward Mark Scheifele

"We want to prove to them that we're able to play, especially in our building, making sure that they know when they come here, they're going to have to skate a lot." -- Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty


Jets projected lineup

Patrik Laine -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Kyle Connor -- Kevin Hayes -- Nikolaj Ehlers

Brandon Tanev -- Adam Lowry -- Bryan Little

Mathieu Perreault -- Andrew Copp -- Jack Roslovic

Joe Morrow -- Jacob Trouba

Dmitry Kulikov -- Tyler Myers

Ben Chiarot -- Sami Niku

Laurent Brossoit

Connor Hellebuyck

Scratched: Mason Appleton, Par Lindholm, Bogdan Kiselevich, Matt Hendricks

Injured: Dustin Byfuglien (ankle), Josh Morrissey (upper body), Nathan Beaulieu (undisclosed)


Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- Paul Stastny -- Mark Stone

Tomas Nosek -- Cody Eakin -- Alex Tuch

Ryan Carpenter -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Ryan Reaves

Nate Schmidt -- Deryk Engelland

Brayden McNabb -- Shea Theodore

Nick Holden -- Colin Miller

Malcolm Subban

Maxime Lagace

Scratched: Brandon Pirri, Jon Merrill, Valentin Zykov

Injured: Marc-Andre Fleury (lower body), Erik Haula (lower body), William Carrier (upper body)


Status report

Winnipeg did not hold a morning skate. … Carrier was a full participant at the morning skate. … Bellemare (undisclosed) will be a game-time decision.


Stat pack

Trouba is expected to play his 400th game in the NHL. … Winnipeg is 14-for-47 on the power play in its past 14 games. … Marchessault is two points from 200 in the NHL. … Smith has 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) in his past 18 games.

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