3 Keys: Jets vs. Flames, Game 3 of Cup Qualifiers

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No. 9 Jets vs. No. 8 Flames

6:45 p.m. ET; NHLN, NHL.TV, SN

Best-of-5 series is tied, 1-1

Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine each could miss a second straight game for the Winnipeg Jets in this best-of-5 Stanley Cup Qualifier series against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Place in Edmonton, the Western Conference hub city, on Tuesday.

The forwards did not play in Game 2, a 3-2 Winnipeg win Monday. Scheifele sustained a lower-body injury 5:39 into Game 1, a 4-1 loss Saturday, and Laine left at 5:44 of the third period with an apparent upper-body injury.

“We’ll see tomorrow,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said after Game 2. “I’m not looking to give up an advantage on any part of this now in the series. They didn’t play today. We’ll see how they come to the rink tomorrow.”

Scheifele tied Kyle Connor for the Jets lead in points (73) and led them in assists (44) and power-play goals (10) this season. Laine was third in goals (28) and fourth in points (63).

Teams that win Game 3 after a series is tied 1-1 are 21-7 (75 percent) winning a best-of-5 series (14-2 when used from 1980-86).

Here are 3 Keys to Game 3:

 

1. Depth chipping in

Jets forward Jansen Harkins scored the first goal in Game 2, the 23-year-old’s NHL postseason debut. Third-line forward Adam Lowry leads the series with three points (one goal, two assists). It’ll take that depth scoring to keep Winnipeg afloat without Scheifele and Laine.

“We’re comfortable facing this adversity,” Lowry said. “Pretty much throughout the year we had key guys out of the lineup, at different points of time there’s been a handful of guys. That’s a testament to our team’s depth and guys coming in and taking advantage of their opportunity.”

 

2. Short memories

It’ll be just over 24 hours between the end of Game 2 and the start of Game 3. That means a quick turnaround for the Jets, who are riding an emotional win, and the Flames, who are looking to erase the sting of a loss.

“Now the series is 1-1 and now it’s a best-of-3 and we’ve got to prepare ourselves again for tomorrow,” Calgary coach Geoff Ward said. “This time of year, sometimes you’ve got to have a short memory. We’ve got to make sure we get our rest, we do what we need to do to prepare for an afternoon game tomorrow (4:45 p.m. local time) and really focus on the things we need to control better as a team in order to try to get a different result.”

 

3. Hellebuyck holding up

Connor Hellebuyck has given Winnipeg what’s expected from a Vezina Trophy-finalist goalie. He has a .921 save percentage in the series, including 28 saves in Game 2. He’s been better than Calgary goalie Cam Talbot, who has a .909 save percentage, to this point.

“We go into the game confident knowing that on any given night he’s going to give us a real good chance to win,” Lowry said. “Nothing seems to get to him, nothing seems to rattle him. We don’t always make the job easy on him but he always seems to be there when we need him the most.”

 

Jets projected lineup

Kyle Connor — Andrew CoppBlake Wheeler

Mathieu PerreaultCody Eakin — — Nikolaj Ehlers

Jansen Harkins — Adam Lowry — Jack Roslovic

Gabriel BourqueNicholas ShoreLogan Shaw

Josh MorrisseyDylan DeMelo

Dmitry KulikovNeal Pionk

Nathan BeaulieuTucker Poolman

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: David Gustafsson, Mark Letestu, Anthony Bitetto, Carl Dahlstrom, Sami Niku, Luca Sbisa, Mikhail Berdin, Eric Comrie

Unfit to play: Bryan Little, Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Mason Appleton

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanElias Lindholm

Andrew MangiapaneMikael BacklundMatthew Tkachuk

Milan LucicSam BennettDillon Dube

Zac RinaldoDerek RyanTobias Rieder

Mark GiordanoTJ Brodie

Noah HanifinRasmus Andersson

Derek ForbortErik Gustafsson

Cam Talbot

David Rittich

Scratched: Austin Czarnik, Byron Froese, Mark Jankowski, Alan Quine, Buddy Robinson, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone, Juuso Valimaki, Alexander Yelesin, Jon Gillies, Artyom Zagidulin

Unfit to play: None

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