July 30, 2015

Sports Breaking News

Jets down Coyotes 1-0

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Game preview

The Winnipeg Jets (9-11-4) will have a new face in the lineup when they host the Phoenix Coyotes (13-7-3) at MTS Centre Thursday night.

With forwards Nik Antropov and Eric Fehr listed as game-time decisions by the coaching staff (both have undisclosed injuries), winger Carl Klingberg, who was recalled from St. John’s Wednesday, makes his Jets debut. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Swede skated on a line with Jason Jaffray and Tim Stapleton during the morning skate, and is looking forward to just his second NHL game in his young pro career.

“Everybody’s dream is to play in the NHL and today is the day,” the easy-going 20-year-old told a throng of reporters Thursday. “For me, I’m just going to go out there and do my best. Don’t think so much -- just go out and have some fun.”

Klingberg has earned the promotion. In 20 games with the IceCaps, the former second round draft pick (34th overall, 2009 NHL Entry Draft) scored nine goals and added seven assists before getting the call up to the parent club.

“We just wanted him to have impact on games there, not more or less create offence so much, but just be a reliable winger,” Jets head coach Claude Noel said. “He went to St. John’s and created quite a bit of offence; a lot of it has (come) from getting rebounds and going to the net. For us, we just want to make sure he’s dependable.”

A lot of attention is placed on this contest, naturally, with the former Winnipeg Jets franchise returning to its roots for the first time since the 1996 season. That fact, and the fact the Coyotes were once on the verge of coming back to Manitoba last spring, has created some buzz in the lead up.

“It’s probably pretty fresh in everyone’s mind, given everything that’s happened in the last year in this community -- trying to get a team back,” Jets forward Blake Wheeler said. “Every time the Dallas Stars went back to Minnesota they (the fans) gave it to them, especially the first couple (games).”

The Jets are treating it like just another game, the players say, looking past the history of the opponent and focusing on their own efforts of late. Winnipeg wasn’t pleased with the way it opened this extended stretch of games at home against Ottawa Tuesday (a 6-4 loss to the Senators), and say the ‘big event’ status of having the Coyotes in town won’t play a factor tonight.

“It shouldn’t at all,” captain Andrew Ladd added. “The energy in this building has been the same -- it’s been great since the start of the year. It doesn’t change much for us. I think it’s a bigger thing for Winnipeg, having the opportunity for the (Coyotes) to come back it’s probably a big thing.”

Ondrej Pavelec gets the call for Winnipeg, his third straight start between the pipes. Phoenix is expected to counter with goaltender Mike Smith.

Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.

The new Winnipeg Jets host the former incarnation of the Jets, now the Phoenix Coyotes, at the MTS Centre Dec. 1.


Updated on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM CST: adds slideshow

1:12 PM: Adds game preview

8:14 PM: Adds first period score

9:06 PM: Updates game after second period

10:00 PM: Adds final result

10:51 PM: Adds details and quotes in writethrough

11:22 PM: Adds quotes

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