Following one of the worst defeats of the season, the Winnipeg Jets are looking to rebound off their 6-1 beatdown at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, although accomplishing that feat might be easier said than done.
In the eight previous meetings this season, Winnipeg has performed to a troubling 2-6-0 record against Edmonton, allowing 3.88 goals per game and scoring just 2.63 goals per game during that span. Considering these two teams will likely face off against each other during the opening round of the playoffs, finding a way to slow down captain @Connor McDavid and the rest of his offense would be a very encouraging sign ahead of this potential postseason showdown.
Here are three storylines that could impact the Jets’ final game of the regular season against the Oilers:
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1. Jets Need Strong Response Early On 

After being embarrassed on Monday night, it’ll be extremely important for the Jets to come out strong and have a positive response during the first 20 minutes of Wednesday’s contest, especially since they allowed two unanswered goals in the first period of last game. With the Oilers’ offense currently riding high, as they’ve scored the third-most goals per game (4.00) since Apr. 15, any prolonged defensive miscues could put this game out of reach before the third period begins once again.
Since Winnipeg has lost four of the eight meetings against Edmonton when trailing first, they certainly can’t afford to fall behind on the scoreboard and will need to find a way to create sustainable pressure in the offensive zone early on. If this club can spend the majority of the first period away from their own zone, chances are they’ll be able to carry some sort of lead into the second period, which will hopefully set the tone for the final 40 minutes of action.
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2. Connor Hellebuyck Looking to Bounce Back From Recent Struggles

Yes, goaltender @Connor Hellebuyck has allowed at least three goals in each of his last four starts, resulting in a 5.34 goals-against average and a .833 save percentage, which is definitely out of character for the 2019-20 Vezina Trophy winner. Having said that, the 27-year-old isn’t solely responsible for these concerning results, as he’s been left out to dry by his teammates far too often recently and has received very little assistance from the club’s blue line.
In particular, the Jets’ defensive issues have largely been exposed against the Oilers this season, which has played a major factor in Hellebuyck’s disappointing 4.29 goals-against average and .870 save percentage through six games against them. Unless this team starts providing its all-star netminder more support, he’ll continue to face plenty of pressure down the stretch and will be relied on to bail out his defenders throughout each contest.
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3. Jansen Harkins Earning Unexpected Opportunity 

With forwards @Adam Lowry and @Nikolaj Ehlers sidelined, Winnipeg has been forced to shake up the forward lines and that’s created an opening for @Jansen Harkins, who’s spent most of this season as a healthy scratch. Preparing for his 21st game of 2021, the 23-year-old has participated in eight of the last nine games heading into Wednesday’s matchup against Edmonton, earning 8:51 minutes of ice time per game and producing six shots on net, five hits and one block during that span.
Making his presence felt during Monday’s contest, Harkins delivered one of the biggest hits of his career on forward @Kailer Yamamoto, who passed the puck away just seconds earlier. Following Wednesday’s game, the former second-round pick will be just one game away from becoming eligible for this summer’s Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft, meaning he could be playing in the Pacific Northwest next season.
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Lineups:

Winnipeg Jets:
LWCRW
Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP
Rating: 72.5#60 LW
Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE
Rating: 76.8#19 C
Mason Appleton
MASON APPLETON
Rating: 69.5#123 RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR
Rating: 79.5#5 LW
Pierre-Luc Dubois
PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS
Rating: 74.6#38 C
Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER
Rating: 76.3#22 RW
Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY
Rating: 74.8#36 C
Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT
Rating: 71.1#96 RW
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 LD
Dylan DeMelo
DYLAN DEMELO
Rating: 71.8#69 RD
Edmonton Oilers:
LWCRW
Dominik Kahun
DOMINIK KAHUN
Rating: 72.5#69 LW
Connor McDavid
CONNOR MCDAVID
Rating: 82.7#5 C
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS
Rating: 77.4#11 LW
Leon Draisaitl
LEON DRAISAITL
Rating: 86.1#1 C
Kailer Yamamoto
KAILER YAMAMOTO
Rating: 73.5#47 RW
Devin Shore
DEVIN SHORE
Rating: 69.6#141 LW
Josh Archibald
JOSH ARCHIBALD
Rating: 71.2#95 RW
James Neal
JAMES NEAL
Rating: 71.7#82 LW
Gaetan Haas
GAETAN HAAS
Rating: 69.6#139 C
Alex Chiasson
ALEX CHIASSON
Rating: 72.2#76 RW
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Darnell Nurse
DARNELL NURSE
Rating: 74.1#30 LD
Ethan Bear
ETHAN BEAR
Rating: 71.8#66 RD
Dmitry Kulikov
DMITRY KULIKOV
Rating: 71.9#78 LD
Adam Larsson
ADAM LARSSON
Rating: 71.1#88 RD
Caleb Jones
CALEB JONES
Rating: 71.0#14 LD
Ethan Bear
ETHAN BEAR
Rating: 71.8#66 RD

Where to Watch/Listen:

The puck will drop at 8 pm CT for a second straight game and be available on TSN 3 along with 680 CJOB.