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Game Day Preview - Can the Winnipeg Jets "nick" a victory over the Calgary Flames?

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Will the Winnipeg Jets build on their recent success with speed and forechecking, and earn a second consecutive victory? Can Nic Petan and Nikolaj Ehlers capitalize on their extended playing time?

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Maurice stated that he likely would have had more veterans playing tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary (8 PM Central time on TSN3 and TSN 1290). However, some minor injuries may keep stars like Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little out of the lineup.

Nic Petan, Nikolaj Ehlers and Adam Lowry will try to take advantage of the extra ice time, to make at least one more positive impression on the coaches.

In addition to tonight's game, the Jets also play the Calgary Flames at the MTS Centre on Saturday night, to complete their preseason schedule.

Some Thoughts

Winnipeg Jets

  • Nic Petan is expected to replace Bryan Little, on a line with Andrew Ladd and Michael Frolik. Nikolaj Ehlers will take Blake Wheeler's spot with Mark Scheifele and Evander Kane. The two "Nicks" looked very good in their last game against the Ottawa Senators, and hope to convince the coaching staff to keep them around for the start of the Jets' regular season.
  • The other forward lines are expected to be Adam Lowry/Mathieu Perrault/Matt Halischuk, and Eric Tangradi/Jim Slater/Chris Thorburn. Eric Tangradi appears to have recovered from his leg injury from the game in Edmonton.
  • Defense pairings are likely to be Grant Clitsome with Zach Bogosian, Jacob Trouba with Mark Stuart, and Adam Pardy with Keeton Ellerby.
  • Michael Hutchinson will go the distance in goal tonight. Ondrej Pavelev will get the call for Saturday night.
  • Coach Paul Maurice liked the speedy, forechecking style of play that the Jets employed in their last game against the Ottawa Senators, with "longer stretches of our game looking the way it's supposed to."  Both of the Jets' goals vs. Ottawa resulted from strong forechecking.
  • It looks like Tobias EnstromJosh Morrissey and Ben Chiarot will not suit up vs. Calgary tonight. Anthony Peluso also appears to be a scratch.
  • Sick bay includes Little, Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien, TJ Galiardi, Paul Postma and Eric O'Dell.


Calgary Flames

  • The Flames also have some good young talent, including Johnny Gaudreau, Sam Bennett, Michael Ferland, Sven Baertschi and Josh Jooris.
  • Ferland has had a good preseason, scoring two goals in a recent game against the Colorado Avalanche. He had missed most of last season for the Flames, after knee surgery last December. Prior to the injury, he had 18 points in just 14 games for Calgary. Ferland (#79) is a player to watch tonight.
  • Jonas Hiller is looking sharp, with a 28 save shutout in last start against Colorado.
  • The Flames roster includes former Manitoba Moose Mason Raymond, as well as former Jet Devin Setoguchi.
  • The Flames are likely to compete with many veteran players, including Jiri Hudler and Mark Giordano.

Player to Boo

How about Jonas Hiller? Jets fans are notorious for putting the "hex" on opposing goaltenders. Go for it! Your TV screen won't complain about it, anyway.

Prediction

  • Winnipeg will win 3-2. The Jets will continue to improve their puck possession in the offensive zone, and The two "Nicks" - Nic Petan and Nikolaj Ehlers - will play key roles.