Winnipeg Jets Gameday: vs Minnesota Wild

Winnipeg Jets Gameday: vs Minnesota Wild

Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild
6:15 pm CT, Xcel Energy Center, TV: Sportsnet One, City. Radio: TSN 1290


Patrik Laine vs Ryan Suter
The Finnish sniper has increased his production since being promoted to the top line and he’ll see a lot of Wild defenceman Ryan Suter on Saturday. Suter has six goals and 28 points in 44 games while averaging just under 27 minutes per season and is on the shutdown pairing with Jared Spurgeon.

Keys to the game

Keep it rolling
It’s the fourth and final meeting of the season between the Central Division rivals and the Jets have an opportunity to secure a series sweep against the Wild. In the three prior meetings, the Jets have outscored the Wild 13-6 in those previous games – which included a 7-2 win on Nov. 27 in Winnipeg.

Minnesota connection
Two members of the Jets leadership group have strong ties to the Minnesota area and they’ve also been productive against the Wild during the course of their careers. Dustin Byfuglien, who was born in Roseau, Minn., has eight goals and 31 points in 38 games, while Wheeler, who starred for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and grew up in Robbinsdale, Minn., has 11 goals and 25 points in 29 games against the Wild.

Make it special
Although the Jets have the second-ranked power play in the NHL, it hasn’t been as efficient on the road, the Jets are in the middle of the pack on the road (19.5 % compared to 25.6 % overall) and the Wild boast the top home penalty killing efficiency (92.8 %).

Speaking of rolling
Veteran centre Eric Staal continues to pace the Wild in both goals (19) and points (37) in 44 games, numbers which helped him get selected to the Central Division All-star game earlier this week. Staal, who played for Jets head coach Paul Maurice with the Carolina Hurricanes, has 26 goals and 62 points in 72 games against Winnipeg during his career.

Dubnyk riding the wave
Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has given up two goals or fewer in four of his past five starts and is coming off a 34-save performance against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday at United Center. Dubnyk is 16-9-2 with a 2.66 goals-against average and .918 save % in 28 games this season, but is just 7-8-1 with a 2.87 goals-against average and .900 save % in 16 career games against the Jets. Saturday will be Dubnyk’s 200th appearance since making his Wild debut on Dec. 15 of 2015. During that span, he leads all goalies in games played and shutouts (18), is tied for first in save % (.923) and ranks second in wins (115) and goals-against average (2.24).


Winnipeg Jets

Kyle Connor-Blake Wheeler-Patrik Laine
Mathieu Perreault-Bryan Little-Nikolaj Ehlers
Shawn Matthias-Andrew Copp-Joel Armia
Marko Dano-Matt Hendricks-Jack Roslovic

Josh Morrissey -Jacob Trouba
Dmitry Kulikov-Tyler Myers
Toby Enstrom-Dustin Byfuglien

Connor Hellebuyck
Michael Hutchinson


Minnesota Wild

Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund
Tyler Ennis-Eric Staal-Zach Parise
Joel Eriksson Ek-Charlie Coyle-Chris Stewart
Marcus Foligno-Matt Cullen-Daniel Winnik

Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Mathew Dumba
Gustav Olofsson-Nate Prosser

Devan Dubnyk
Alex Stalock

Special Teams

Winnipeg: 25.6% (2nd)
Minnesota: 18.4% (18th)

Winnipeg 81.2% (T15th)
Minnesota: 83.5% (7th)

Jets: G Steve Mason (illness, day-to-day), C Mark Scheifele (suspected shoulder, IR), RW Brandon Tanev (lower body, IR), C Adam Lowry (upper body, IR)
Wild: RW Nino Niederreiter (lower body, day-to-day)



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