After falling 5-3 to the Montreal Canadiens in Game One of this second-round series, the Winnipeg Jets are hoping to bounce back strong in Game Two as they attempt to tie things up at one game apiece, although accomplishing that feat certainly won’t be easy.
Following a brutal hit on forward @Jake Evans, @Mark Scheifele earned himself a four-game suspension and will be sidelined until Game Six, if this series reaches that far. Unfortunately for Winnipeg, his departure leaves a massive void at the top of their lineup and it’ll likely be extremely difficult to fill that loss, meaning someone will need to step up Friday night or this team could find themselves trailing 2-0 heading into the weekend.
Here are three storylines that could impact the second game of this playoff series between the Jets and Canadiens:
Advertisement
Ad

1. Paul Stastny Considered GTD, Likely to Return 

While Scheifele won’t be appearing in the next four games, veteran @Paul Stastny, who missed Game One due to an undisclosed injury, could return to the lineup for the second game of this series against the Canadiens. After participating in the Jets’ optional skate Friday, coach Paul Maurice announced the 35-year-old is currently considered a game-time decision, however, it seems there’s a very strong chance he’ll make his return.
If Stastny does indeed suit up for Game Two, it’s unclear as to where he’ll be positioned, but as of now, most signs are pointing to him skating alongside teammates @Kyle Connor and @Blake Wheeler on the top line. That being said, it’s also possible the veteran center could return to the second line, which would allow forward @Pierre-Luc Dubois to center the club’s first line.
Advertisement
Ad

2. Dylan DeMelo Sidelined For Extended Time 

Adding to Winnipeg’s difficult challenge, they’ll be without defenseman @Dylan DeMelo, who left Game One and didn’t return following a 29-second shift, for the foreseeable future and will need to locate his injury replacement on the top defensive pairing. Though that remains a mystery right now, defenseman @Neal Pionk briefly played alongside teammate @Josh Morrissey towards the end of the regular season and reuniting this duo could become a possibility for Maurice and the coaching staff.
As an alternative option, veteran @Tucker Poolman played several games on the top pairing earlier this season and could return to that role if needed, which would allow Pionk and @Derek Forbort to remain together on the second pairing. Regardless of who skates alongside Morrissey, it’ll be crucial for the entire blue line to perform much more effectively this time around, particularly in the defensive zone and directly in front of goaltender @Connor Hellebuyck.
Advertisement
Ad

3. Overcoming First-Period Adversities 

Considering the Jets came out extremely rusty in the opening frame of Game One, where they allowed three goals and were largely out played throughout the first 20 minutes, they’ll need to find a way to set the tone early on in Game Two and prevent those same woes from occurring once again. In particular, this team must dramatically improve during five-on-five situations, as they were out shot 11-4 in the first period of last game, and will also need to exit the defensive zone much more effectively this time around.
Since Montreal’s skaters came out firing on all cylinders last time out, it should be assumed they’ll be aiming to replicate that type of performance and it’ll be crucial for Winnipeg to match that same intensity out of the gate. Though this team won’t be playing at full strength, they’ve been forced to overcome challenging obstacles all season long and this postseason hasn’t been any different, meaning they’re fully capable of proving people wrong yet again.
Advertisement
Ad

Lineups:

Winnipeg Jets:
LWCRW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR
Rating: 79.5#5 LW
Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY
Rating: 74.8#36 C
Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER
Rating: 76.3#22 RW
Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP
Rating: 72.5#60 LW
Pierre-Luc Dubois
PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS
Rating: 74.6#38 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
Dominic Toninato
DOMINIC TONINATO
Rating: 68.7#158 LW
Nate Thompson
NATE THOMPSON
Rating: 69.4#145 C
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
Jordie Benn
JORDIE BENN
Rating: 70.9#101 RD
Montreal Canadiens: 
LWCRW
Phillip Danault
PHILLIP DANAULT
Rating: 75.5#29 C
Brendan Gallagher
BRENDAN GALLAGHER
Rating: 78.3#7 RW
Tyler Toffoli
TYLER TOFFOLI
Rating: 75.9#25 LW
Paul Byron
PAUL BYRON
Rating: 71.8#78 LW
Josh Anderson
JOSH ANDERSON
Rating: 73.4#42 RW
Corey Perry
COREY PERRY
Rating: 70.8#101 LW
Eric Staal
ERIC STAAL
Rating: 74.2#45 C
Joel Armia
JOEL ARMIA
Rating: 73.1#54 RW
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Ben Chiarot
BEN CHIAROT
Rating: 73.8#38 LD
Shea Weber
SHEA WEBER
Rating: 76.5#15 RD
Joel Edmundson
JOEL EDMUNDSON
Rating: 73.8#39 LD
Jeff Petry
JEFF PETRY
Rating: 76.7#13 RD
Brett Kulak
BRETT KULAK
Rating: 73.4#46 LD
Erik Gustafsson
ERIK GUSTAFSSON
Rating: 72.9#43 RD

Where to Watch/Listen:

The puck will drop at 6:30 pm CT – don’t be late – and be available on CBC/SN along with 680 CJOB.