Patrik Laine started November in the midst of the first slump of his brief NHL career and the Winnipeg Jets forward publicly stated to reporters he was struggling to find himself after four consecutive games with no points. But entering Tuesday’s home contest with the Arizona Coyotes, the Finnish sharpshooter has rediscovered his scoring touch, recording goals in five consecutive contests as Winnipeg continues its strong early-season play.
The 19-year-old extended his streak with an empty-net tally in the final seconds of Saturday’s 4-1 triumph at Arizona, giving the Jets points in nine of their past 10 games. “Our preparation has been spot on, and our bench has been great,” Jets center Blake Wheeler told reporters after Saturday’s victory, a game in which Winnipeg rebounded 24 hours after losing at Vegas. The Coyotes’ difficult season continues as Arizona has yet to win in regulation through 19 games. “We’ve just got to find some guys to make some plays,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet told reporters after Saturday’s defeat. “That’s the key right now.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, TSN3 (Winnipeg)
ABOUT THE COYOTES (2-14-3): Arizona embarks on a four-game Canadian road trip riding a four-game losing streak, and have allowed an NHL worst 74 goals. Center Derek Stepan snapped a nine-game pointless streak with an assist Saturday. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson ranks second on the team with 11 points (10 assists), and has recorded at least one assist in three of his past four contests.
ABOUT THE JETS (9-4-3): Winnipeg’s power play ranked sixth in the NHL at 24.1 percent, helping fuel an offense averaging 3.25 goals per contest (10th in the league) entering Monday. Connor Hellebuyck, who did not play Saturday after suffering his first loss in regulation this season against Vegas, will get the start Tuesday. Wheeler is second in the league in assists (18) and third in points (23).
1. Arizona C Clayton Keller, who leads the Coyotes in goals (11) and points (17), hasn’t hit the scoresheet in his past three games.
2. The Coyotes are 1-for-17 on the power play in the past seven games.
3. Winnipeg C Mathieu Perreault (lower-body injury) will not play Tuesday, but is getting closer to returning after missing the past 11 games.
PREDICTION: Jets 3, Coyotes 1