(SportsNetwork.com) – The Winnipeg Jets will have an overhauled look at the
blue line on Friday night as they try to extend a four-game point streak in a
meeting with the Colorado Avalanche.
The Jets have recently been hammered by injury on the back end, losing
defenseman Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian and Grant Clitsome for the
Enstrom has missed the last four games with a lower-body injury and is
expected to miss the remainder of this month, while Clitsome has not played
since Nov. 28 and will be out the next two weeks at a minimum because of an
Winnipeg then lost Zach Bogosian to a lower-body ailment in Wednesday’s 3-2
overtime victory against the Edmonton Oilers, with the defenseman slated to
miss the next 4-to-6 weeks of action.
“We got a big boatload of (bad news) today,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said
on Thursday when announcing the injuries and the timelines. “But everybody is
going to have their adversity over the course of the year. We’re hoping that
ours can be contained to this.”
Defenseman Ben Chiarot had already been recalled from the St. John’s IceCaps
of the American Hockey League on Tuesday and the Jets added Julien Brouillette
from the IceCaps on Thursday.
Maurice also addressed the lack of bodies at the blue line by moving forward
Dustin Byfuglien to defense on Thursday and he is expected to play the
position tonight. The 6-foot-5 American has experience at the position, having
played defense for both the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets improved to 3-0-1 in their last four games with the win over the
Oilers. Mathieu Perreault secured the extra point when he tipped in Jacob
Trouba’s wrister just 17 seconds into overtime.
Trouba had a goal and two assists, Byfuglien scored a game-tying goal with
3:06 left in regulation and Ondrej Pavelec made 22 saves.
“I think the offense kind of comes. We don’t really look at it or look for it,
it comes with the style we play,” said Trouba. “We don’t get a ton of chances
but we have to make the most of the chances we do get.”
Colorado comes in having lost three of its past four and was bested 4-3 in
overtime by the Calgary Flames on Thursday night. The Flames got a tying goal
with 1:17 to play in regulation and then saw Sean Monahan score the winner
1:47 into overtime on a rebound chance.
Semyon Varlamov, playing for the first time in seven games after missing time
with a groin injury, thought he had covered up Monahan’s initial shot from the
“I have to give them credit. Calgary put traffic in front of the net, and it
was a great shot. It was a tough play for our goalie,” said Colorado head
coach Patrick Roy.
Varlamov stopped 21 shots in his first action since Nov. 15, while Matt
Duchene and Nick Holden scored 58 seconds apart in the second period. Alex
Tanguay also had a goal and Ryan O’Reilly finished with two assists.
These clubs have split their last six meetings as the Jets picked up a 2-1
overtime victory at home over the Avalanche on Oct. 26. Bryan Little scored
the winner with 25 seconds left in extra time as he deflected Andrew Ladd’s
Ladd also had a goal in regulation and Pavelec made 22 saves, while Varlamov
made 26 stops for the Avalanche.
Colorado has lost two straight and three of its past four trips to Winnipeg.