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Game Day Preview: Ducks @ Jets

The Winnipeg Jets are off to a blazing hot start with wins in their first two games and they will look to continue their winning to three games tonight Anaheim Ducks tonight in the team’s regular season home opener.

Jets vs. Ducks

When: Sunday, October 6, 2013

Time: 7:00 p.m. CST

Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Records: Winnipeg (2-0-0), Anaheim (1-1-0)

Television/Radio: PRIME, TSN-Jets/TSN 1290 Radio

The Story:  The Winnipeg Jets are off to a blazing hot start with wins in their first two games and they will look to extend their winning streak to three games tonight against the Anaheim Ducks (7:00 p.m. CST, TSN-Jets/TSN 1290).

Tonight’s game is about much more than a win for the the home town fans however as it marks the final regular season game for Ducks forward Teemu Selanne in Winnipeg. The 43-year-old Selanne is quite simply the most popular athlete to ever play in the city and in just two and half years in the city, he stole the hearts of Winnipeg hockey fans with his skill on the ice, and his loveable personality off of it. Selanne’s 76-goal rookie year in 1992’93 is still an NHL record and lives on as one of the greatest achievements in Winnipeg sports history. When Selanne was traded to the Anaheim Ducks during the 1995’96 season, the city of Winnipeg was shocked and collectively mourned the loss of their favourite player. Selanne will get a loud and warm welcome tonight from the MTS Centre faithful and it is well deserved as he has become larger than life in these parts.

Back to tonight’s game, the Ducks roll into town coming off of  a 4-3 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild last night. Ducks centre Mathieu Perreault (acquired from the Washington Capitals in the late September for forward John Mitchell) scored the game winning goal with just under five seconds to go in overtime. It was a big road win for the Ducks who were embarrassed in a 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in their season opener.

The Ducks finished 2nd overall in the Western Conference for a reason last year as they are a dangerous offensive team led by veterans Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks are big, fast and relentless. The Jets, as always, are going to have to be disciplined and sharp on the penalty kill. Anaheim had the 4th best Power Play in the NHL last year (21.5%).

There will be two lineup changes for the Jets tonight as Grant Clitsome will make his season debut after missing the first two games with a lower-body injury. Prior to game time, it was not confirmed but I would expect Paul Postma to be the odd man out for the Jets on defense. Anthony Peluso will make his season debut tonight and will replace Chris Thorburn in the line-up. I would expect Peluso to take Thorburn’s spot on the fourth line alongside Jim Slater and James Wright. If Tobias Enstrom can’t go (game-time decision), Paul Postma will stay in the line-up.

Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in goal for the Jets.

According to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, Viktor Fasth is expected to start in net for the Ducks tonight.

Projected Winnipeg Jets Line Combinations:

Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane-Mark Scheifele-Devin Setoguchi
Eric Tangradi-Olli Jokinen-Michael Frolik
James Wright-Jim Slater-Anthony Peluso

Tobias Enstrom-Zach Bogosian
Grant Clitsome-Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart-Jaocb Trouba

Ondrej Pavelec
Al Montoya

Healthy Scratches: Chris Thorburn, Matt Halischuk, Paul Postma

Projected Anaheim Ducks Line Combinations:

Corey Perry-Ryan Getzlaf-Teemu Selanne
Dustin Penner-Mathieu Perreault-Jakub Silfverberg
Andrew Cogliano–Saku Koivu-Daniel Winnik
Patrick Maroon- Nick Bonino- Kyle Palmieri

Francois Beauchemin-Hampus Lindholm
Bryan Allen- Sami Vatanen
Cam Fowler-Ben Lovejoy

Viktor Fasth

Jonas Hiller

Healthy Scratches: Mark Fistric, Peter Holland, Matt Beleskey

Injury Report:

Anaheim Ducks: Sheldon Souray (wrist), Luca Sbisa (ankle), Emerson Etem (lower body)

Winnipeg Jets:  None

QUICKIES…The Jets assigned Adam Pardy to the St.John’s IceCaps (AHL) prior to the start of Sunday night’s game…..Olli Jokinen‘s second period goal Friday night was the 300th of his career…..After two games, Evander Kane leads the Jets with 11 shots on net and 9 Penalty Minutes…..