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GDT: Winnipeg Jets vs Vegas Golden Knights

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The rubber match between two of the best teams in the NHL (who saw this coming?) goes down tonight at Bell MTS Place.

Vegas Golden Knights v Winnipeg Jets
WINNIPEG, MB - DECEMBER 1: Goaltender Maxime Lagace #33 of the Vegas Golden Knights deflects a shot by Mark Scheifele #55 of the Winnipeg Jets over the crossbar during second period action at the Bell MTS Place on December 1, 2017 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Jets defeated the Knights 7-4.
Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Time: 7:00 PM CST

Channel: TSN3, ATTSN-RM

Radio: TSN1290

After defeating the team leading the NHL standing in points on Tuesday, beating the Lightning 3-1, the Winnipeg Jets (30-13-8) match up against the team with the second most points in the NHL: the Vegas Golden Knights (33-12-4).

The home team won the previous two meetings between these clubs, with Vegas winning at T-Mobile Arena by a 5-2 score on November 10, before Winnipeg showed off their home dominance with a 7-4 win on December 1 at Bell MTS Place. The two teams have a combined home record of 37-6-3 this season, with the Golden Knights at 19-3-2 and the Jets at 18-3-1.

So that means advantage Winnipeg tonight, right?

Well, maybe. But maybe not. Vegas has been flying high of late, including a 4-2 win over the Flames on Tuesday, partly due to the stellar play of Marc-Andre Fleury, who was out injured the last time these two teams met. Fleury’s save percentage in his last eight games in .940, which is actually lower than his season total of .942. The change of scenery has done Flower very well.

William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault continue to put up great numbers, as Karlsson is tied for second in the league with 27 goals, and Marchessault is scoring more than a point per game (48 points in 46 games).

But enough about Vegas.

The Jets sit third in the NHL standings, despite missing star players for chunks of the season. After recently getting back Dustin Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom, Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba ended up on the shelf long-term as well. Dmitry Kulikov and Steve Mason are both recovering from concussions as well, with Kulikov cleared to play Saturday. Yet, the train kept a rollin’.

The Jets have a record of 7-2-1 in their last 10, and play game two of 10 straight at home tonight. Despite continually juggled lines to accommodate players entering and exiting the lineup, Winnipeg still manages to show off their depth. Jack Roslovic and Tucker Poolman are two players that have seen themselves thrust into the spotlight as rookies. Their point production has not been spectacular, but their play has been solid to this point.

Blake Wheeler pushed his assists total to 42 on the season, which has him tied for fourth in the league in that category. Wheeler’s career high in assists is 52, a number he attained in 2015-2016 which is easily within reach right now.

Connor Hellebuyck remains stellar, and was afforded a night off with Michael Hutchinson stepping in between the pipes in Tuesday’s win over Tampa.

Will the home team reign supreme?

Will Vegas keep on playing like whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!

Tune in this evening! Same Jets time (7 PM CST), Same Jets channel (TSN 3)!

Winnipeg Jets: 30-13-8

Stat Leaders:

Goals: Patrik Laine (23)

Assists: Blake Wheeler (42)

Points: Wheeler (56)

Goalie Stat Leaders:

Wins: Connor Hellebuyck (26)

Goals Against Average: Hellebuyck (2.35)

Save Percentage: Hellebuyck (.924)

Minutes: Hellebuyck (2,402)

Special Teams: PP 24.7% (2nd), PK 82.6% (9th)

Vegas Golden Knights: 33-12-4

Stat Leaders:

Goals: William Karlsson (27)

Assists: Jonathan Marchessault, David Perron (30)

Points: Marchessault (48)

Goalie Stat Leaders:

Wins: Marc-Andre Fleury (13)

Goals Against Average: Fleury (1.78)

Save Percentage: Fleury (.942)

Minutes: Fleury (1,146)

Special Teams: PP 19.1% (19th), PK 82.5% (10th)

Winnipeg Jets (30-13-8)

FORWARDS

29 Patrik Laine / 26 Blake Wheeler/ 52 Jack Roslovic

85 Mathieu Perreault / 18 Bryan Little/ 27 Nikolaj Ehlers

9 Andrew Copp / 17 Adam Lowry/ 40 Joel Armia

13 Brandon Tanev / 15 Matt Hendricks/ 81 Kyle Connor

DEFENCE

44 Josh Morrissey/ 57 Tyler Myers

39 Toby Enstrom/ 33 Dustin Byfuglien

7 Ben Chiarot/ 3 Tucker Poolman

STARTING GOALIE

37 Connor Hellebuyck

Riding the pine: 34 Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: 56 Marko Dano

Injured: 55 Mark Scheifele (Out since December 27, resumed skating in non-contact jersey, upper body), 35 Steve Mason (out since January 12, resumed light skating concussion), 16 Shawn Matthias (upper body, out since January 13), 8 Jacob Trouba (Out six to eight weeks from January 29, ankle), 5 Dmitry Kulikov (Out since January 24, expected back on Saturday, concussion)

Vegas Golden Knights (33-12-4)

FORWARDS

81 Jonathan Marchessault/71 William Karlsson/19 Reilly Smith

57 David Perron/ 56 Erik Haula/ 18 James Neal

13 Brendan Leipsic/ 21 Cody Eakin/ 89 Alex Tuch

28 William Carrier/ 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare/ 24 Oscar Lindberg

DEFENCE

7 Jason Garrison/ 88 Nate Schmidt

5 Shea Theodore/ 7 Deryk Engelland

77 Brad Hunt/ 6 Colin Miller

STARTING GOALIE

29 Marc-Andre Fleury

Riding the pine: 30 Malcolm Subban

Scratched: 40 Ryan Carpenter, 3 Brayden McNabb

Injured: 92 Tomas Nosek (Out since January 16, upper-body), 15 Jon Merrill (Out since January 5, lower body), 47 Luca Sbisa (Out six-to-eight weeks from January 7, hand), 4 Clayton Stoner (Out since October 3, abdominal)