Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Peluso pays for dust-up

Out 'week-to-week' with possible broken hand after fight

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A lineup change for Tuesday's game in Florida is guaranteed for the Winnipeg Jets.

Anthony Peluso will be lost to the team for some time. The team wouldn't specify but Peluso is out with an injured hand -- it could very well be broken -- after a fight with Washington's Aaron Volpatti in the first period of Saturday's 3-0 win by the Caps.

Jets coach Claude Noel said Peluso is not day-to-day, but "week-to-week."

The fans certainly enjoyed the rugged winger's second NHL fight in his fifth game.

At 17:50 of the first, Peluso and Volpatti agreed to drop the gloves and Peluso, though he took one solid punch, prevailed with a strong flurry of blows.

The injury is likely to mean the return, again, of winger Antti Miettinen, who has been cleared to play after taking a hard shot to the private parts more than a week ago.

The Jets also have forward Kyle Wellwood as an option.

-- -- --

Volpatti was making his debut with the Capitals in a rink where he has played frequently.

The 27-year-old former captain at Brown University was a member of the AHL's Manitoba Moose for their final season at the MTS Centre, signed by the Vancouver Canucks.

In total, Volpatti played 83 regular-season and playoff games for the Moose

He had 11 points in 53 regular-season games in 2010-11, plus 74 penalty minutes.

The Canucks tried to send him to the AHL's Chicago Wolves this week to get more playing time but the Caps stepped in with a claim.

"I wouldn't say things weren't going well," Volpatti said. "I thought I was playing my role and I think they thought that, too but it was a matter of playing more, more icetime.

"I was a little surprised at the beginning, but they wanted me to play more and in that sense, I agreed.

"So I had to clear waivers and now I have a new opportunity ahead of me and I hope it's a good one."

The physical winger said he was thrilled to be back at the MTS Centre.

"I had a blast here," Volpatti said. "The Moose was a great organization as I'm sure the Jets are. The city was awesome. We had a lot of fun here and it's good to be back."

-- -- --

Saturday's game also marked the return of another familiar face, winger Eric Fehr of Winkler.

The former Jets skater was not re-signed after the 2011-12 season and hooked up with the Caps again after the lockout.

He played 19 minutes 26 seconds on Saturday, had one assist and was plus-two.

-- -- --

Jets defenceman Mark Stuart is one of the most no-nonsense players in the team's dressing room.

So he wasn't interesting in separating road and home efforts after Saturday's loss to the Caps.

The Jets were 1-1 at the MTS Centre this week, and mostly recently 4-1 on the road.

"It's more of a case of not anything to do with home or road, just playing good hockey," Stuart said. "Over the last four, five, six games... today wasn't the best effort because it wasn't 60 minutes. We've been getting 60-minute efforts pretty consistently over the last little while but today wasn't the case there."

Stuart took a late double-minor Saturday that included too much to say about the shove he gave to Washington's Alex Ovechkin after an offside play.

The officials gave Ovechkin a free shot to Stuart's head as the scuffle began, awarding no penalty for the blow.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 3, 2013 B4

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