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Game #22 Preview and GDT: Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild

Winnipeg will look to keep its road trip from going from bad to worse

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild
After a 15-game absence, Drew Stafford returns to the lineup.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets are on a road trip precipice. Now 0-3-0, Winnipeg rounds out its five-game excursion with match-ups against Central division opponents: the Minnesota Wild tonight, followed by the Nashville Predators on Friday. While 2-3-0 would still be far from ideal, the divisional aspect of these next two tilts would help to salvage what's been a maddening time away from the MTS Centre (not to mention setting a tone for the three-game homestand which follows).

Sidelined by an upper-body injury since Oct. 25, Drew Stafford returns to game action on a line with Nic Petan and Brandon Tanev. Petan has looked great since being recalled from the Manitoba Moose, whether in terms of fancy stats (56.2 5v5 CF%) or point production (six points in 10 games). It'll be interesting to see if Stafford can hit the ground running and take advantage of Petan's playmaking prowess.

Meanwhile, Quinton Howden has been reassigned to the Moose in light of Stafford's return, Tyler Myers has been placed on injured reserve and Chase De Leo continues to wait.

Tonight's starter in Connor Hellebuyck had a fine game against Carolina on Nov. 20, stopping 30 out of 31 even-strength shots against and posting a .925 Sv% overall. But Hellebuyck's .911 Sv% on the season pales in comparison to that of his Wild counterpart Devan Dubnyk, who's rocking a .949 Sv%. If there's solace to be taken, Dubnyk last posted a sub-.900 Sv% effort on Oct. 15, against who else? The Winnipeg Jets.

The Wild will be getting their own recovery boost, as defenceman Marco Scandella returns from a high ankle sprain and forward Zach Parise continues to recover from strep throat. Across the board, Minnesota's guns have gone silent; the Wild have scored two or fewer goals in each of their last six games. With a goal and assist against Dallas on Nov. 21, Nino Niederreiter may be the hottest hand Minnesota has at the moment.

When, Where & How

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 6:00 p.m. CT, Xcel Energy Center
Radio: TSN 1290

Winnipeg Jets Projected Lineup

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Nikolaj Ehlers Mark Scheifele Blake Wheeler
Brandon Tanev Nic Petan Drew Stafford
Andrew Copp Adam Lowry Patrik Laine
Marko Dano Alexander Burmistrov Chris Thorburn
Left Defence
Right Defence
Josh Morrissey Dustin Byfuglien
Tobias Enstrom Jacob Trouba
Mark Stuart Ben Chiarot
Connor Hellebuyck
Michael Hutchinson

Minnesota Wild Projected Lineup

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Zach Parise
Eric Staal Charlie Coyle
Tyler Graovac Mikko Koivu Mikael Granlund
Nino Niederreiter Erik Haula Jason Pominville
Jason Zucker Zack Mitchell Chris Stewart
Left Defence
Right Defence
Ryan Suter Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin Christian Folin
Matt Dumba Marco Scandella
Devan Dubnyk
Darcy Kuemper