Winnipeg Jets vs Anaheim Ducks
5 pm CT, Bell MTS Place. TV: TSN3. Radio: TSN 1290
THE BIG MATCHUP
Connor Hellebuyck vs John Gibson
This could be a battle between the two guys vying for the No. 1 job with Team USA for the 2020 World Cup (provided it happens). Hellebuyck has given up three goals or more in four of his past five starts, so he’ll be looking to get back into a groove. Gibson is the biggest reason the Ducks remain in the playoff race and he’s sporting a .920 save % in 38 games, despite getting limited offensive support. He’s 2-1-2 with a .922 save % and 2.31 goals-against average in six lifetime appearances against the Jets.
5 keys to the game
Complete the task
Although the Jets started strong and built a 3-0 lead against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, they allowed their opponent to hang around and make things interesting. Sure, the Jets were playing on consecutive days with travel, but it was clear from his post-game comments that head coach Paul Maurice wasn’t thrilled with the overall effort. Puck management is an area the Jets will look to improve. Since the Jets relocated in 2011, eight of the 16 meetings with the Ducks have gone to overtime or a shootout, so be prepared for extra time.
Home sweet home
The Jets continue to be one of the best teams on home ice in the NHL and they’ve won three consecutive games at Bell MTS Place to improve to 16-6-2. The Jets are second in the NHL in home-ice wins and points (34). Including last season, the Jets are 48-13-4 on home ice, so they’ve made Bell MTS Place a tough place for visitors to play.
Wounded, yet dangerous?
The Ducks limp into Winnipeg on a 10-game losing streak and they’ll be in a surly mood after blowing a 3-0 lead and losing 7-4 on home ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Ducks are currently 30th in the NHL in goals per game (2.36) and have only three players (Jakob Silfverberg, Ondrej Kase and waiver pick-up Pontus Aberg) who have hit double digits in goals through 45 games.
The Jets have four forwards riding a four-game point streak, including Bryan Little, who recorded his 500th NHL point by scoring the game-winning goal on Friday. Mark Scheifele (two goals, six points), Kyle Connor (three goals, six points), Little (three goals, five points) and Brandon Tanev (two goals, four points) have all collected at least a point during the past four games. Ilya Kovalchuk (615) and Jets captain Blake Wheeler (552) are the only two other players in franchise history to record 500 points.
Watch the captain
Captain Ryan Getzlaf continues to be the engine that drives the Ducks offensive attack. Two of his nine goals have been game-winners and he leads the team in points with 29 in 38 games. The Regina product has four goals and 16 points in 18 career games against the Jets.
GAME DAY LINEUPS
Kyle Connor-Mark Scheifele-Blake Wheeler
Patrik Laine-Bryan Little-Jack Roslovic
Mathieu Perreault-Adam Lowry-Brandon Tanev
Brendan Lemieux-Andrew Copp-Mason Appleton
Josh Morrissey-Jacob Trouba
Ben Chiarot-Dmitry Kulikov
Joe Morrow-Sami Niku
Rikard Rakell-Ryan Getzlaf-Daniel Sprong
Andrew Cogliano-Ryan Kesler-Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie-Adam Henrique-Ondrej Kase
Kiefer Sherwood-Carter Rowney-Pontus Aberg
Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Montour
Cam Fowler-Josh Manson
Jacob Larsson-Andy Welinski
Jets: D Dustin Byfuglien (ankle, IR), D Tyler Myers (lower body, day-to-day), LW Nikolaj Ehlers (shoulder, IR)
Ducks: G Ryan Miller (knee, IR), RW Corey Perry (knee, IR).
Winnipeg: 27.9.% (3rd)
Anaheim: 14.3% (28th)
Winnipeg 80.0% (T15th)
Anaheim: 80.3% (13th)