WINNIPEG, Manitoba — The Arizona Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets will play the second half of a back-to-back on Tuesday night, swapping locations from Gila River Arena to Bell MTS Place.
The Jets (9-4-3), who will induct Dale Hawerchuk into the team’s Hall of Fame during a pre-game ceremony, defeated the Coyotes 4-1 in Glendale on Saturday night.
The Coyotes are 2-14-3 and still looking for their first victory of the season in regulation time. They have played 11 of their first 19 games on the road, and have 10 of the next 14 away from home as well — including four on this cross-Canada trip that will take them from Winnipeg to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
“I would be surprised to see another schedule like ours,” defenseman Luke Schenn told ArizonaCoyotes.com. “I know teams do go away for long trips, but not three of them within a month. It seems a little bit crazy switching time zones, but it’s the cards we were dealt.”
Coach Rick Tocchet wasn’t overly discouraged after Saturday’s loss, telling a media scrum after practice Monday that he liked his team’s effort. The difference was the Jets buried their chances in the third period, scoring three times, and his charges didn’t.
“We were in good shape after the second period, we didn’t give them much,” he said. “I think they had 11 shots on goal with three or four minutes left in the second. They’ve got some high-end guys and they put it in the net in the third.”
Tocchet said he’ll likely juggle his lines for the rematch.
“We’ve just got to find some guys who can make some plays when it’s crunch time,” he said.
Antti Raanta is expected to start in goal again for the Coyotes, who are 0-5-2 in Winnipeg since the Jets relocated there in 2011.
Niklas Hjalmarsson did accompany the team on the road trip, which will include four Canadian stops over seven days, but is expected to miss his eighth consecutive game because of an upper-body injury.
Second-year winger Patrik Laine has goals in five consecutive games for Winnipeg and nine on the season. Blake Wheeler leads the Jets with 23 points, and Mark Scheifele has 21 points and a team-leading 10 goals.
Steve Mason was in goal for Saturday’s victory, his first of the season after signing with the Jets as a free agent, but Connor Hellebuyck is the likely starter in the rematch. Mason has struggled mightily with his new team, compiling a 3.76 goals-against average and an .892 save percentage in five starts.
The Coyotes received some sad news when it was announced that former co-owner George Gosbee died suddenly at age 48 on Sunday.
Source: Fox Sports