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Preview: Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild

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The final road contest of the pre-season goes down tonight in the Highway 59 Derby.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild
Winnipeg Jets defensemen Dustin Byfuglien (33) skates after the puck in the second period against Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter (22) in game four of the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Where to watch/listen

Broadcast Schedule
Broadcast Schedule
Time: 7:00 P.M. CDT
TV: TSN3, Fox Sports North,
Radio: TSN1290, KFAN 100.3

The Winnipeg Jets wrap up the road portion of their pre-season tonight in Minnesota when they take on the Wild. Their final pre-season game will be tomorrow night at home against the Devils before a week off to prepare for the season opener in St. Louis.

Yet another line combination greets Nikolaj Ehlers tonight. Jack Roslovic will remain at the centre spot, but Kristian Vesalainen takes the place that Brendan Lemieux took last time out. A possible third line going forward? We’ll see.

The presumed fourth(?) line of Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry and Brandon Tanev sees the ice again, while lines three and four go to Marko Dano-C.J. Suess- J.C. Lipon and Brendan Lemieux - Kristian Reichel - Mason Appleton.

On the back-end, Sami Niku plays with Ben Chiarot. Joe Morrow is with Dustin Byfuglien and Dmitry Kulikov is with Nelson Nogier. Laurent Brossoit gets the start, with Eric Comrie backing him up. Speaking of goalies, Ken Appleby was released from his PTO earlier today, and will return to the Manitoba Moose. Charles-David Beaudoin, Simon Bourque, Jacob Cederholm, Luke Green, Tye McGinn and Matt Ustaski have all been sent down as well.

The Minnesota Wild will counter the Jets efforts with...yea, that’s darn close to the best they can muster. Ryan Suter makes his pre-season debut, Devan Dubnyk is in net, the top three forward lines are playing, probably all three defence pairings. Should be a good test for those who made the trip.

Tale of the Tape

Winnipeg Jets Stats Calgary Flames
Winnipeg Jets Stats Calgary Flames
4-1-0 Pre-Season Record 1-4-0
19 Goals For 14
18 Goals Against 13
Pre-Season
Dustin Byfuglien, Marko Dano, Skyler Mckenzie, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Sami Niku, Nikolaj Ehlers (2) Goals Charlie Coyle (3)
Wheeler, Joe Morrow, Seth Griffith (3) Assists Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba (3)
Wheeler (5) Points Eight players (3)
Connor Hellebuyck, Laurent Brossoit (2) Wins Alex Stalock (1)
Brossoit (2.50) Goals Against Average Stalock (1.53)
Brossoit (.936) Save Percentage Andrew Hammond (.933)

Enemy Territory

Calgary Flames Coverage: Hockey Wilderness

Last Jets Game:

Winnipeg Jets 5-4 (OT) Calgary Flames

Sami Niku and Nikolaj Ehlers each scored a pair, with Ehlers slapping home the game winner in overtime.

Last Wild Game:

Dallas 5-3 Minnesota Wild

Jamie Benn scored twice, and there were no video highlights to be found of this game which boggles my mind. So here’s a funny photo from the game instead.

NHL: Preseason-Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars
Dallas Stars left wing Blake Comeau (15) crashes into the glass during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at American Airlines Center.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Players to watch:

Winnipeg Jets

NHL: Preseason-Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets
Sep 23, 2018; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN;Winnipeg Jets left wing Kristian Vesalainen (42) stick checks Edmonton Oilers left wing Pontus Aberg (46) in the first period at Bell MTS Place.
James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

He hasn’t been bad, but Kristian Vesalainen hasn’t exactly been dominant either. Case in point, this was the only picture of him this pre-season where he’s mentioned in the caption.

Vesalainen has played in three pre-season games so far. He’s been on the ice for 47:21, with 11:00 minutes of power play time and 1:16 of penalty kill. He’s been on the ice for two even strength goals against, one penalty kill goal against and one power play goal for. He also has zero shots on net. To quote Michael Scott quoting Wayne Gretzky: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Minnesota Wild

NHL: Boston Bruins at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter (20) waits for the faceoff in the first period against Boston Bruins at Xcel Energy Center.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Suter last played for the Minnesota Wild on March 31 against the Dallas Stars, a game in which his ankle was fractured badly enough it required surgery.

It will be interesting to see what kind of minutes he gets tonight in his first true test in nearly six months.