Ducks, Jets to settle score in third and final meeting
The Winnipeg Jets and Anaheim Ducks will meet for the third and final time this season on Sunday afternoon in Winnipeg.
The first two meetings displayed widely varying results.
The Ducks won 7-4 in Anaheim on Oct. 29, the most goals they've scored in a game this season.
The Jets returned to Anaheim on Nov. 29 and won 3-0, the only time this season the Ducks have been shut out.
Anaheim's best scoring chances came early on in the second meeting, a situation the Jets have become accustomed to lately.
"One of the things we've been good at is weathering the storm when we've needed to, and play a very simple game early," Jets coach Paul Maurice said after a 3-2 shootout loss at the Dallas Stars on Thursday. "That's probably why you see a lot of one-goal or 0-0 scores after the first."
Winnipeg has allowed just six goals in regulation in its past five games.
Maurice plans to start Connor Hellebuyck in goal against Anaheim.
Hellebuyck got lifted after allowing five goals on 19 shots in the first meeting with the Ducks, but came back with the 24-save shutout the second time around in Anaheim.
Overall, he's 6-1-1 in his career against the Ducks with two shutouts, a .923 save percentage and 2.21 goals-against average.
Since the Jets and Ducks last met, Winnipeg has also claimed forward Nick Shore off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Shore, who made his NHL debut against the Ducks as a member of the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 17, 2015, will center the fourth line with Joona Luoto and Logan Shaw.
One of the bright spots for the Ducks this season has been the play of their fourth line. Derek Grant, Carter Rowney and Nicolas Deslauriers played a role in all four goals of a 4-2 win against the visiting Kings on Monday.
They were also at the forefront of an intense, physical matchup against the visiting Washington Capitals on Friday night, a game the Capitals held on to win 3-2.
"We know our role," Grant said. "We know we've got to bring energy and play simple and play direct, and make things tough for the other team and their (defensemen)."
The Ducks lost one of their most physical players to a lower-body injury against the Capitals, left wing Nick Ritchie.
His immediate prognosis was not available following the game and the Ducks did not practice on Saturday, but Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said "it does not look very good" following the loss to Washington.
An extended absence by Ritchie will likely provide more opportunities for rookie left wings Max Jones and Max Comtois.
Both have played several games with the Ducks this season while also spending time with the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League.
Jones was sent down to San Diego on Tuesday and Comtois was called up, but he was a healthy scratch against the Capitals.
Comtois is expected to reenter the lineup against the Jets for the first time since Nov. 10.
--Field Level Media
Updated December 7, 2019