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Kane, Frolik return to ice after missing Florida debacle

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TAMPA, FLA. -- It wasn't all doom and gloom for the Winnipeg Jets in the wake of one of their worst performances of the season in Thursday's loss to the Florida Panthers.

Two regulars who were not part of the debacle -- wingers Evander Kane and Michael Frolik -- were back on the ice Friday. Frolik, who was out with a virus of some sort, should return for today's game with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

And Kane, who has missed the last two games with a "lower-body" injury, practised Friday -- although he left the session before it was completed and remains doubtful for the Bolts game.

Kane was not available to the media, but Jets coach Claude Noel did provide an update.

"He skated today but was just trying to check out where he's at," said Noel. "He's a little ways away by the looks of things. I'm not sure. It will be a game-time decision but I'm not quite sure he's there yet."

Frolik said he started to feel ill Tuesday night and by Thursday morning was exhausted and drained after not being able to keep food and liquids down. He was a late scratch for the Panthers game -- his spot was taken by Eric Tangradi -- but was improving Friday.

"It's much better," said Frolik. "I still feel weak and the power is kind of not there. But hopefully I can get a little rest and be ready for tomorrow. I think it was a little virus. I had a fever, too. I was just puking all night. It wasn't very good the night after."

MORE RAVE REVIEWS: Jacob Trouba was far from perfect against Florida on Thursday but his response when the team was struggling -- he levelled a couple of unsuspecting Panthers with some jaw-rattling hits -- did jump off the page.

"I thought Jacob Trouba was one of our better players," said Noel. "We didn't have too many good players, but he was one of them. Yes, he made mistakes, but what I like about what he did and the way he played is he played with will and determination. And when he got mad and angry, he made the opponent pay and I thought he did that in a couple of checks. For a 19-year-old player, my hat goes off to him."

NOTABLE NUMBERS: The Jets' penalty-kill unit has stopped 15 of 16 short-handed situations over the last six road games, improving them to 11th in the NHL... Olli Jokinen scored his seventh goal of the season against the Panthers, matching his total from last year... Dustin Byfuglien is fourth in scoring among all NHL defencemen with 22 points (6G, 16A) and leads all NHL defencemen in shots on goal with 101... Andrew Ladd potted the game's first goal against the Panthers, but the loss dropped Winnipeg's record to 8-3-1 when scoring first.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 7, 2013 C2

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