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Three Storylines Heading into Jets Matchup Against Canucks

Following a tough 3-2 defeat against the Edmonton Oilers, the Winnipeg Jets have taken their road trip to the west coast and are aiming to get back into the win column against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.

Meeting each other for just the second time this season, things certainly didn’t end well for Winnipeg last time out against Vancouver, as they were embarrassed in all three periods and ultimately lost 4-1. But now eight games later, they’ll look to correct those issues and find a way to capture their 10th victory of the 2020-21 campaign.

Here are three storylines that could impact the Jets’ second game of the season against the Canucks:

1. Pierre-Luc Dubois Misses Fourth Straight Game 

After missing Wednesday night’s game against Edmonton, forward Pierre-Luc Dubois traveled with the team to Vancouver in hopes of making his return, however, he didn’t participate in the morning skate and will be watching from the crowd once again. In total, the 22-year-old is now set to miss his fourth consecutive contest and has appeared in just two games since being acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 23.

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Unfortunately, Winnipeg and Dubois still can’t shake this unlucky stretch, which has lasted for nearly a month. As of right now, the former first-round pick’s next chance to return to the lineup will be on Sunday against these same Canucks, but he’ll first need to prove that he’s healthy enough to play.

2. Nate Thompson Returns to Action 

Similar to Dubois, forward Nate Thompson, who’s played just four games this season, has also been sidelined due to a lower-body injury, which he suffered back on Jan. 21 against the Ottawa Senators. Since then, it’s been almost a month-long recovery process for him and he’s now ready to suit up with his teammates on game day once again.

Even though Thompson probably could’ve returned to action on Wednesday, coach Paul Maurice opted to keep the team’s fourth line together for one more game, which included Jansen Harkins, Trevor Lewis and Kristian Vesalainen. But with the 36-year-old drawing back into the lineup, Vesalainen will come off the fourth line and serve as a healthy scratch during this contest.

3. Connor Hellebuyck Receives Much-Needed Break 

Considering goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has started in each of the last six games and also seven of the eight matchups this month, there’s no question the Jets needed to rest him and that’s exactly what they’re doing on Friday against the Canucks. Since the 2019-20 Vezina Trophy winner will receive the night off, backup Laurent Brossoit is slated to make his fourth start of the season, which will also be his first appearance since Feb. 2.

In each of his first three starts of the 2020-21 campaign, Brossoit has appeared in the second game of the club’s back-to-back series, making this game his first outing without having Hellebuyck playing the night before. Through three games this season, the 27-year-old has earned a 2-1-0 record, producing a 2.98 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

Lineups: 

Winnipeg Jets:

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LW C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

Rating: 79.5#5 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

Rating: 76.8#19 C

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Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

Rating: 76.3#22 RW

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Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

Rating: 72.5#60 LW

Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 74.8#36 C

Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS

Rating: 75.7#20 RW

Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT

Rating: 71.1#96 LW

Adam Lowry
ADAM LOWRY

Rating: 69.2#149 C

Mason Appleton
MASON APPLETON

Rating: 69.5#123 RW

Kristian Vesalainen
KRISTIAN VESALAINEN
Jansen Harkins
JANSEN HARKINS
Trevor Lewis
TREVOR LEWIS

Rating: 70.1#114 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Josh Morrissey
JOSH MORRISSEY

Rating: 74.1#29 LD

Tucker Poolman
TUCKER POOLMAN

Rating: 71.6#74 RD

Derek Forbort
DEREK FORBORT

Rating: 70.5#109 LD

Neal Pionk
NEAL PIONK

Rating: 75.3#20 RD

Nathan Beaulieu
NATHAN BEAULIEU

Rating: 72.1#72 LD

Dylan DeMelo
DYLAN DEMELO

Rating: 71.8#69 RD

Vancouver Canucks: 

LW C RW
Tanner Pearson
TANNER PEARSON

Rating: 73.7#38 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 74.8#34 C

Nils Hoglander
NILS HOGLANDER
J.T. Miller
J.T. MILLER

Rating: 78.5#7 LW

Elias Pettersson
ELIAS PETTERSSON

Rating: 77.7#14 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 74.1#41 RW

Antoine Roussel
ANTOINE ROUSSEL

Rating: 71.0#97 LW

Brandon Sutter
BRANDON SUTTER

Rating: 70.1#131 C

Adam Gaudette
ADAM GAUDETTE

Rating: 70.2#130 RW

Loui Eriksson
LOUI ERIKSSON

Rating: 69.7#123 LW

Jay Beagle
JAY BEAGLE

Rating: 68.4#163 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 72.0#78 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 74.3#26 LD

Nate Schmidt
NATE SCHMIDT

Rating: 75.5#18 RD

Quinn Hughes
QUINN HUGHES

Rating: 75.2#15 LD

Jordie Benn
JORDIE BENN

Rating: 70.9#101 RD

Olli Juolevi
OLLI JUOLEVI
Tyler Myers
TYLER MYERS

Rating: 72.6#50 RD

Where to watch/listen:

The puck will drop at 9 pm CT, yes, it’s another late game, and will be available on TSN 3 along with 680 CJOB.