Chiarot game-time decision against hot Flames

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The Winnipeg Jets will be looking for a much-needed return to the win column tonight -- but standing in their way is the NHL's hottest team.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/03/2017 (2090 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Winnipeg Jets will be looking for a much-needed return to the win column tonight — but standing in their way is the NHL’s hottest team.

Calgary rolls into the MTS Centre for the 6 p.m. start having gone 9-0-1 in their past 10 games, a run that has put them comfortably in a playoff position.

Winnipeg has dropped their past two games — both on home ice — and find themselves seven points out of the final wildcard spot with just 14 games remaining in the season.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winnipeg Jets' Ben Chiarot (7) during practice at the MTS Centre Thursday morning. 170302 - Thursday, March 02, 2017.

“For us, right now it’s a do-or-die time of the year. We can’t afford to lose too many games right now. Obviously, we know they’re coming in hot so we have to be ready off the start and limit our mistakes,” defenceman Josh Morrissey said following Saturday’s morning skate.

The Jets will be without defenceman Toby Enstrom, who is out indefinitely with a concussion suffered in their last game against Pittsburgh. Mark Stuart will take his place in the lineup. Defenceman Ben Chiarot is also a game-time decision because of illness. Julian Melchiori would take his spot after being recalled from the Manitoba Moose earlier in the day.

Nic Petan will also dress for the Jets after being a healthy scratch for the past four games. He replaces Chris Thorburn, who was also injured in the Pittsburgh game. Petan will skate on a line with Marko Dano and Shawn Matthias.

Coach Paul Maurice has also switched up his other three lines — Mark Scheifele will centre Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers, Bryan Little will centre Patrik Laine and Mathieu Perreault, and Adam Lowry will centre Andrew Copp and Joel Armia.

Connor Hellebuyck will make his 14th consecutive start in net for the Jets, despite being pulled last game after allowing five goals on 15 shots.

“There’s a real hard focus on the day at hand so you don’t too ‘big picture’ yourself,” Maurice said Saturday of the team’s mindset these days despite their dwindling post-season chances. He said his team can perhaps look to Calgary for motivation, given they’re on the kind of streak the Jets need to get on.

“They’ve got into a real consistent style of play,” said Maurice. “They’ve had all, at different times, pieces of their game contribute.”

Tonight’s game concludes a six-game homestand in which the Jets have gone 2-3-0. They head out on the road for three games next week beginning Monday in Nashville.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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