FROM THE MORNING SKATE
The Jets took to the ice for pre-game skate at 9:30 am with a few notable changes as they prepare to host the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at the MTS Centre.
Jim Slater will return to the lineup after missing the last game in Ottawa with the flu. He will be back centering his usual line with Tanner Glass and Chris Thorburn.
Ben Maxwell will make his season debut tonight centering a line with Evander Kane and Mark Scheifele. Maxwell started the season on the IR for an upper body injury.
"I'm excited, I've been waiting a little while for this," said Maxwell. "It's been a little frustrating that injury that put a little delay on my season but I'm excited to get going.
"Tonight I'm just going to play my game. I'm not going to do anything different and not going to expect anything different, I'm just going to go for it."
Kyle Wellwood has moved up to play on the top line with Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little while Blake Wheeler has shifted to a line with Nik Antropov and Alex Burmistrov.
Ladd, who is recovering from taking a puck to the face will be good to go tonight as he was sporting a face shield to protect his nose.
On the back end, Randy Jones will play tonight paired with Johnny Oduya replacing Derek Meech. Ron Hainsey has been placed on the IR as he continues to nurse an upper body injury.
Ondrej Pavelec will get his fourth straight start in net for the Jets while Brian Boucher is expected to get his second start of the season.
HURRICANES (3-2-2) at JETS (1-4-1)
TV: FS-Carolinas (HD); CBC
Season Series: It's the first of six meetings between the Southeast Division rivals. Carolina won five of six last season when the Jets were based in Atlanta, and the only loss came in overtime. Three of the Hurricanes' wins also came after regulation.
Big Story: The Jets are back home after a disappointing two-game swing through Ontario in which they blew a 3-1 third-period lead and lost 4-3 in a shootout at Toronto, then fell 4-1 at Ottawa the next night. The 'Canes come to Manitoba for the first time after blowing a 2-0 lead in St. Louis on Friday and dropping a 3-2 overtime decision.
Hurricanes : As far as the 'Canes are concerned, they should be coming to the MTS Centre with a four-game winning streak. Carolina was less than 40 minutes away from its fourth consecutive win in St. Louis on Friday, but the Blues turned up the heat, tied the game 2-2 by the end of the second period and won with 62 seconds left in overtime after the 'Canes couldn't cash in a power play in the extra period.
Still, one point was better than none.
"It wasn't our best, but we'll take the point and go," coach Paul Maurice said.
Jets : The NHL's return to Manitoba has been a hit everywhere but on the ice, where the Jets still look a lot like the Atlanta team that faded down the stretch last season and missed the playoffs. The Jets have scored first in four of their six games, but they haven't been able to generate enough offense to put away opponents -- Winnipeg has scored just 11 goals, and no more than three in any game.
"It's finding ways to win games, you have to create something," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "In some areas they have to do a better job."
Who's hot : Carolina's Cam Ward has posted a 1.96 goals-against average while winning six of his last seven starts against the Thrashers/Jets. Center Jeff Skinner, the 2011 Calder Trophy winner, is 2-4-6 in his second NHL season. … Dustin Byfuglien had Winnipeg's only goal Thursday and has three points in the Jets' last two games.
Injury report: Carolina's Zak Dalpe is out with a lower-body injury. … Jets captain Andrew Ladd may have to sit out after taking a puck in the face against Ottawa on Thursday. Winnipeg is still without defenseman Ron Hainsey (upper body) and forward Eric Fehr (shoulder).
Stat Pack: Winnipeg is just 2-for-25 on the power play; both of those goals came in the shootout loss at Toronto. … Carolina has won eight of the last 10 meetings with the Thrashers/Jets and is 43-17-4-4 all-time.
Puck Drop : This is the first time a Carolina team has visited Winnipeg. The Hartford Whalers had yet to move to Carolina when the original version of the Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996.