Record: 52 – 20 – 10
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This article was published 11/11/2017 (222 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
GLENDALE, Arizona — Steve Mason starts in net tonight as the Winnipeg Jets look to finish a three-game road trip on a winning note.
Mason gets the tap on the shoulder for just the fifth time this season — and the first since Oct. 27 when the Jets dropped a 2-1 overtime decision in Columbus. He came in to relieve Connor Hellebuyck on Friday night in Las Vegas and stopped all five shots he faced in what was a 5-2 loss.
Mason will be looking for his first win in a Jets uniform. He's 0-3-1 with a 4.44 GAA and .877 SV%.
"It's good to get him back in the net, for sure," coach Paul Maurice said this afternoon from Gila River Arena.
Josh Morrissey is good to go, despite leaving the game against the Golden Knights midway through the third period after blocking a shot. There are no other lineup changes, meaning Brendan Lemieux, Marko Dano and Ben Chiarot will all be healthy scratches.
Winnipeg began the trip with a 4-1 win in Dallas last Monday, then struggled Friday night in losing for the first time in regulation in nine games. They are now 8-4-3 on the season.
"It's just getting back to the game I think we had been playing going into it. A real quick game, move the puck real well and we're on pucks," said Maurice. "Rebound games, you're not going to like all your hockey that you play over the course of a year. You don't enjoy it, it doesn't make you feel any better in the morning when you wake up, you're not happy about your game. But we're looking for a rebounder here. We didn't like our game enough."
Maurice said a handful of players really struggled Friday night. That list would likely include the top line of Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor, who were a combined minus-11.
"I talked to Blake, he doesn't think he's ever been on the ice for that many goals. They weren't as good as they've been for sure. They were dominant in Dallas," said Maurice. "Those guys play 20 minutes plus, most nights. They're going to have one like that. So that's game 15, one in 15 is fine because the other ones have been pretty good."
This is actually the start of a home-and-home series before the Jets and Coyotes, as Arizona comes to Bell MTS Place on Tuesday night.
"I'd prefer that. I'd have no problem going to a league that played a lot of actual back-to-backs," said Maurice. "I think it makes for great rivalries, you get a little better preparation time as a coach, you get to make adjustments as a coach."
Arizona has struggled mightily this season, off to an NHL-worst 2-13-3 start. However, they have got points in three of their last four games (1-1-2).
"They're going to skate really well and they're going to work really hard. They have a lot of quickness. There's enough creativity on some of those young kids that you can't kind of script what they'll do."
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.