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Preview: Jets @ Oilers

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 10:59 PM CT / News Articles
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Preview: Jets @ Oilers
The Jets start the regular season in Edmonton with a 9 p.m. CST match-up against the Oilers.

JETS (0-0-0) at OILERS (0-0-0)

TV: CBC

Season series: The Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers didn't meet during the 2012-13 season because the Jets were still part of the Eastern Conference and there was no cross-conference play in the abbreviated 48-game campaign. Their last matchup dates all the way back to Feb. 27, 2012, when a four-goal third period rallied the Oilers to a 5-3 win at MTS Centre. Taylor Hall had the game-winner.

Big story: The Jets were reborn in Winnipeg two seasons ago, and now they're officially back where they belong in the Western Conference, part of the new Central Division. The Oilers, meanwhile, have shifted over to the Pacific and hope the time is now for an impressive collection of young talent to take the next step toward a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs under first-year coach Dallas Eakins.

Team Scope:

Jets: Like its opponent to open the season, Winnipeg is looking to end a postseason drought. The Jets have missed the playoffs each of their first two seasons since relocating from Atlanta, and the franchise as a whole has made it there just once in 13 seasons.

The preseason returns weren't very promising, as the team won once in eight games. However, a couple important pieces in the team's future acquitted themselves well. Rookies Mark Scheifele, a forward who has 11 games of NHL experience over the past two seasons, and Jacob Trouba, a defenseman and the No. 9 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, are expected to play key roles going forward.

"I have to say that I have liked both," coach Claude Noel told the Winnipeg Free Press. "They bring some good things to our group and they certainly look like they can play here."

Oilers: Although banged up in some areas, Edmonton made it through the preseason winning five of seven games before getting blanked 4-0 by the Dallas Stars in Friday's finale.

Among the key offseason acquisitions for the Oilers were forward David Perron, who came over from the St. Louis Blues in a trade for Magnus Paajarvi, and defenseman Andrew Ference, signed as a free agent. Ference, a 13-year veteran who won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Boston Bruins, was named the team's new captain on Saturday.

"Andrew is everything you look for in a captain," Eakins said. "You start rattling off words like, compete, honest, commitment, a guy that can communicate. Everything you talk about a leader, that's what this young man is. The biggest thing for me, is his ability to unite this organization. He's the most important person in this organization."

Injury report: Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien left Friday's final preseason game against the Boston Bruins with an apparent leg injury, but is probable. Defenseman Zach Bogosian (undisclosed) is practicing and expected to be in the lineup. … Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder) is still recovering from offseason surgery and likely out until November. Forwards Sam Gagner (jaw) and Steve McIntyre (knee) and defenseman Corey Potter (back) are on injured reserve. Perron (illness) and defenseman Denis Grebeshkov (groin) are day-to-day.

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 77 47 22 8 220 188 102
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 76 44 27 5 219 204 93
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 76 39 25 12 215 201 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Ladd 76 24 37 12 61
B. Wheeler 74 25 34 24 59
B. Little 65 24 27 10 51
M. Scheifele 76 14 32 9 46
D. Byfuglien 67 18 27 6 45
D. Stafford 70 16 25 -15 41
M. Frolik 76 17 23 4 40
M. Perreault 57 18 18 3 36
J. Tlusty 66 14 15 -19 29
T. Myers 66 7 19 -9 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
O. Pavelec 19 15 7 .917 2.39
M. Hutchinson 20 10 5 .913 2.43
 
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