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This article was published 3/12/2017 (1394 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Rookie left-winger Kyle Connor will be sidelined tonight with an unspecified injury, forcing Jets head coach Paul Maurice to juggle his lineup for the game against the visiting Ottawa Senators.
"He won't play today," said Jets head coach Paul Maurice, admitting Connor's injury could be related to a shot he blocked in Friday's 7-4 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. "Listed him as day-to-day. We don't think it's serious. He'll have a few more tests this afternoon to confirm that."
The Western Conference-leading Jets (16-6-4) and the Sens (9-9-6), who are sixth in the Atlantic Division, meet tonight at 6 o'clock (Sportsnet, TSN 1290).
Veteran forward Mathieu Perreault filled Connor's spot on Winnipeg's top line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler during this morning's pre-game skate while Shawn Matthias slotted in with Matt Hendricks and Joel Armia on the fourth line. Matthias has been a healthy scratch for Winnipeg's last nine games.
Connor, who scored twice against Vegas, has nine goals and 17 points in 21 games since being recalled from the AHL's Manitoba Moose.
"We'll fill that hole with probably either Matty or Nicky (Ehlers)," said Maurice, adding Perreault is a good fit with Scheifele and Wheeler. "He's played there before, he's got lots of experience. He moves the puck, he knows how the other two guys play. So it's an easy move for him."
"It's a good opportunity for me, I guess," said Perreault. "My game won't change. I'll play the same way I always play."
The Senators lost seven consecutive games prior to Friday's 6-5 triumph over the New York Islanders.
"Let’s not forget, they were in the (Eastern) Conference final last year," said Perreault. "They’re a good team. They have great forwards, great defenseman, good goaltending. Maybe their record doesn’t show it right now, but they’re a much better team than that so got to be ready to go."
Winnipeg will start Connor Hellebuyck in net while Ottawa is expected to counter with Mike Condon.
Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.
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