August 16, 2018

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Record: 52 – 20 – 10

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Winnipeg Jets (52 – 20 – 10)

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Hutchinson will get the start in net for Jets against Dallas

DALLAS — One of the NHL's hardest working goaltenders is getting a break tonight.

Connor Hellebuyck, who had started 10 consecutive games including a 4-0 shutout road victory over the St. Louis Blues Friday night, will sit while Michael Hutchinson makes his return to the Winnipeg net against the Dallas Stars (6 p.m., Sportsnet, TSN 1290).

Hellebuyck, who now has six shutouts to go with his 2.32 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and 32-9-8 record, deserved a breather, said Jets head coach Paul Maurice.

"Its that part of the process that all of these guys, to become a No. 1, have to go through — a heavy workload," said Maurice prior to Winnipeg's game at American Airlines Center. "I think he's got to that number unusually because we ran 10 straight at home this time of year. We had some injuries, but even with that, you're going to run your A guy at home.

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DALLAS — One of the NHL's hardest working goaltenders is getting a break tonight.

Connor Hellebuyck, who had started 10 consecutive games including a 4-0 shutout road victory over the St. Louis Blues Friday night, will sit while Michael Hutchinson makes his return to the Winnipeg net against the Dallas Stars (6 p.m., Sportsnet, TSN 1290).

Michael Hutchinson makes his return to the Winnipeg net against the Dallas Stars tonight. (Joe Bryksa / Free Press files)</p>

Michael Hutchinson makes his return to the Winnipeg net against the Dallas Stars tonight. (Joe Bryksa / Free Press files)

Hellebuyck, who now has six shutouts to go with his 2.32 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and 32-9-8 record, deserved a breather, said Jets head coach Paul Maurice.

"Its that part of the process that all of these guys, to become a No. 1, have to go through — a heavy workload," said Maurice prior to Winnipeg's game at American Airlines Center. "I think he's got to that number unusually because we ran 10 straight at home this time of year. We had some injuries, but even with that, you're going to run your A guy at home.

"We'll start to get some relief for him. He's played exceptionally well. He's been really consistent. Had a really big game last night, he was good early and then preserved it at the end."

Maurice said he had not detected any fatigue from Hellebuyck, who is five games from equalling a career high of 56 games played in 2016-17, but the back-to-back situation prompted the switch.

"He's been sharp, feels good," said Maurice. "We just thought back to back — I just like when you have the opportunity to get a goaltender out after a win. You don't do it very often. You certainly don't do it a lot after shutouts. You want to keep it going... He gets a rest day today and one tomorrow and we can load up for March."

There will be no other lineup changes for tonight's game.

Maurice was also asked if he expected Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to add some veteran help prior to the league's Monday trade deadline. The Jets were apparently close to acquiring centre Derick Brassard from the Ottawa Senators.

Sportsnet's John Shannon reported Friday the Vegas Golden Knights became involved in a three-way trade with the Senators and Pittsburgh in which Brassard ended up with the defending champion Penguins. Vegas took on a portion of Brassard's salary, in part to block a trade to the Jets, a Western Conference rival.

"I've been through this enough to know you can have a plan and things you want to do — and every team does — and it either happens for you or it doesn't," said Maurice. "It's not a matter of want. If you want to improve your team — can you get it down with something that makes sense. Kevin's been working really, really hard at it, as are all the GMs. I don't spend any time thinking about it. Sometimes, the best trades you ever made never happen."

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Sports Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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