Big Buff back on the ice tonight against Carolina

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Dustin Byfuglien returns to the lineup tonight -- forcing Tucker Poolman to the press box - as the Winnipeg Jets host the Carolina Hurricanes.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/10/2017 (1873 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Dustin Byfuglien returns to the lineup tonight — forcing Tucker Poolman to the press box – as the Winnipeg Jets host the Carolina Hurricanes.

Byfuglien has missed the past two games in Edmonton and Vancouver dealing with a nagging lower-body injury. That opened the door for Poolman, the first-year pro out of college who impressed many as the Jets rebounded from an 0-2 start to their season by reeling off a pair of consecutive road victories.

“Ready to go. It’s just one of those things that crept into my game. Got to rest it early. It started in training camp and tried to taking care of it as much as possible. We did the right thing, we got on it early,” Byfuglien said following this morning’s skate at Bell MTS Place. “It’s definitely nothing big. It’s something that can drag for a long time. If you can take care of it early you won’t lose much time.”

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Dustin Byfuglien will miss Sunday nights's game against the Vancouver Canucks at the MTS Centre.

He goes back into a familiar paring with Toby Enstrom. Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey are together, while Tyler Myers and Dmitry Kulikov are the third pairing.

Connor Hellebuyck will make a third straight start in net for the Jets. Coach Paul Maurice said his performance and a lack of practice time for Steve Mason, who struggled in his first two starts, made it an easy call.

Adam Lowry is out of the lineup tonight with an upper-body injury. Joel Armia, a healthy scratch the past two games, will dress in his place.

“We’re quite hopeful that this will be enough to get him back in,” Maurice said of Lowry sitting one out. “He had it going into the (Vancouver) game. It didn’t improve and started to deteriorate toward the end of the game so we’ve just got to jump on this early. It shouldn’t be anything long term.”

The Jets top two lines remain intact, with Mark Scheifele between Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers and Bryan Little centering Patrik Laine and Mathieu Perreault. Nic Petan will skate on a line with Armia and Marko Dano. Andrew Copp, Shawn Matthias and Brandon Tanev are the other trio.

“It’s going to be a fast game tonight. It’s going to be a tough, hard fought game. The key to winning this game is for us to just keep playing the way we’re playing and get better. We were good defensively the last two games, and that’s something we have to get better at. We’re going to get our chances. Defensively, we just got to stick together,” Ehlers said this morning.

Carolina has only played two games this season, both on home ice. They beat Minnesota in a shootout last Saturday, then lost to Columbus in overtime on Tuesday night.

“They’re very very quick. They’ll be ready. So their message in their room is real simple. These guys just came off the west coast, we all know what those trips are, lets hop on them early,” Maurice said of the Hurricanes. “They’ve got a tremendous amount of quickness, they’ve got an outstanding power play so we need to be real disciplined with our sticks. And that’s a challenge with their quickness. A simple game for us really is most important.”

Puck drops tonight at 6 p.m.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

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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