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Byfuglien on defence as Jets try to regain lost ground

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WINNIPEG -- Dustin Byfuglien will be in the lineup and will be a defenceman Saturday when the Winnipeg Jets meet the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday afternoon (2 p.m. TSNJets, TSN1290) at the MTS Centre.

Jets coach Claude Noel, after an optional team practice today, said he has already made his decision about Byfuglien for the game after using him as a forward for parts of the previous two games.

During Thursday's 4-1 loss in Montreal, Byfuglien returned to a defensive spot in the third period but didn't play for a long stretch at the end of the game. The coach cited his dissatisfaction with Byfuglien's defensive habits for the move.

The Jets have lost five straight and with 38 points, are in 10th place in the NHL's Eastern Conference, though they are tied with the third-seeded Washington Capitals, who have two fewer games played.

The Jets have played the most games in the NHL as of today, 39.

Today also marked the first official appearance of 19-year-old Jacob Trouba with the team. He was Winnipeg's first-round draft pick last June, ninth overall and turned pro earlier today.

There is no indication when, or if, Trouba will play anytime soon. But one extra option Noel might have for Saturday will be checking forward James Wright, who was a full participant in today's practice.

Wright has been out with an upper-body injury since March 21.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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