No lineup changes for Jets tonight in Chicago

CHICAGO — Paul Maurice is hoping the status quo can get his team out of the woods.

There will be no lineup changes tonight as the Winnipeg Jets try to snap a three-game losing streak when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks. That means Connor Hellebuyck makes a fifth straight start in net, while the lines and defence pairings from Saturday night’s lacklustre 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens will remain intact.

Both clubs have plenty to fight for.

The Jets are in danger of not only falling out of first place in the Central Division, but losing home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs, which begin next week. They start the night tied with Nashville, while St. Louis is just two points behind them. The Predators are idle tonight, while the Blues host the Colorado Avalanche. All three teams will have three games left after this.

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CHICAGO — Paul Maurice is hoping the status quo can get his team out of the woods.

There will be no lineup changes tonight as the Winnipeg Jets try to snap a three-game losing streak when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks. That means Connor Hellebuyck makes a fifth straight start in net, while the lines and defence pairings from Saturday night’s lacklustre 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens will remain intact.

Both clubs have plenty to fight for.

The Jets are in danger of not only falling out of first place in the Central Division, but losing home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs, which begin next week. They start the night tied with Nashville, while St. Louis is just two points behind them. The Predators are idle tonight, while the Blues host the Colorado Avalanche. All three teams will have three games left after this.

As for Chicago, they would be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss, provided the Avalanche gain at least a point in St. Louis. It would be the second straight year the post-season doesn’t include the Blackhawks.

“We have our work cut out for us. If you look at our next opponents, everyone’s battling. We’re going to have to come out here and start doing the right things,” Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien said following the morning skate at United Center.

This is the start of the final road trip of the regular season, which includes a Tuesday-night stop in St. Paul, a Thursday-night date in Colorado and a Saturday-night finale in Glendale against the Arizona Coyotes.

Maurice said this morning he expects Hellebuyck to start three of the final four games. Backup goalie Eric Comrie will likely get one game, although the bench boss wouldn’t say if that would be tomorrow night against Minnesota.

Laurent Brossoit is continuing to work his way back from a lower-body injury suffered 11 days ago in Vegas. Maurice said he doesn’t expect Brossoit to play this week; the coaches would prefer to get him some extra recovery time so he’s ready for the playoffs.

The same mindset seemingly applies to defenceman Josh Morrissey, who took the morning skate in a yellow no-contact jersey. Maurice said they likely won’t risk rushing him back in what’s left of the regular season, preferring to get him as close to 100 per cent. Morrissey has been out since late February with a shoulder injury.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

JETS PROJECTED LINEUP:

GOAL:

Hellebuyck

Comrie

FORWARDS:

Connor-Scheifele-Wheeler

Ehlers-Hayes-Laine

Tanev-Lowry-Little

Roslovic-Copp-Perreault

DEFENCE:

Beaulieu-Trouba

Chiarot-Byfuglien

Kulikov-Myers

SCRATCHED: Niku, Morrow, Kiselevich, Hendricks, Lindholm

INJURED: Morrissey, Brossoit

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Reporter

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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