Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hutchinson likely to start one of final three games

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THE Jets, fresh off their spoiler victory in Toronto on Saturday night, took Sunday off to recharge for tonight's home game against the Minnesota Wild.

Forward Dustin Buyfuglien didn't play in Saturday's third period. The team said it was because of an upper-body injury and no update was to be available on Byfuglien's condition until today.

On Saturday, coach Paul Maurice provided a mildly positive update on several of the team's other injured players but he didn't single out any of Al Montoya (undisclosed), Zach Bogosian (upper body), James Wright (lower body), Mark Scheifele (knee), Keaton Ellerby (lower body), Chris Thorburn (ankle) as potentially being improved enough to play in the three remaining games.

Maurice said specifically that though Scheifele is now skating a month after being hit knee-on-knee, he won't play another game this season.

The coach also said Saturday he's still got interest in seeing current backup goalie Michael Hutchinson play one of the team's remaining three games.

Teammates have Pav's back

CERTAINLY the attention and heat is on Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who recorded Saturday's 4-2 win with 23 saves.

Still, Pavelec provided critics with more ammunition with his first-period mess-up against the Leafs that gave Nazem Kadri a gift goal and put the Jets behind, 2-1.

That's not how Pavelec's teammates see it, defenceman Mark Stuart said after the game.

"He's been around enough where he's mentally tough enough to deal with that," Stuart said of his goalie. "Those things are going to happen, they happen to every goaltender. Pav stepped right back up and played really well for us.

"You have to give him credit. Those are tough. As a goaltender I'm sure it's really tough to give up one of those. But it happens and you've got to move on."

 

-- Tim Campbell

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 7, 2014 D3

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