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While Friday night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks featured plenty of scoring chances, the Winnipeg Jets somehow came away with a 2-0 victory, earning goaltender Laurent Brossoit his second career shutout, and they’re now looking to capture a second straight win against this opponent.

Before heading home, the Jets will first need to finish this two-game series against the Canucks, which could prove to be a very entertaining showdown once again. Then just one week later, these two teams will meet once again for a back-to-back series at Bell MTS Place.

So everyone better get used to playing against Vancouver over the next week or so…

Here are three storylines that could impact the Jets’ third game of the season against the Canucks:

1. Pierre-Luc Dubois Returns Following Four-Game Absence 

The time has finally come, forward Pierre-Luc Dubois will return to the Jets’ lineup on Sunday night after missing the last four games due to a lower-body injury. Following the club’s morning skate, the 22-year-old revealed that he was dealing with a “muscle injury” but is now ready to play his first game since Feb. 11.

In an effort to limit his workload, Dubois has temporarily been moved to the wing and will now skate alongside teammates Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler on the top line. In addition, coach Paul Maurice will also likely limit the left-hander’s minutes during his return, meaning he might receive just 13-15 minutes of ice time against the Canucks.

2. Blake Wheeler Starting to Break Out of Early Season Woes

Despite scoring five goals and 14 points through 17 games this season, Wheeler has earned a -10 +/- rating and has largely been criticized for his poor showing in the defensive zone. Adding to his early-season defensive struggles, the 34-year-old hasn’t looked healthy up to this point, however, he hasn’t openly admitted about playing through any significant injury.

Having said that, Wheeler has recently stated his body has been feeling much healthier lately and his improved health definitely played a factor in his encouraging performance on Friday, as he displayed a new level of quickness and also produced five scoring chances, four high-danger scoring chances (team-high) and a 0.48 xG during his 19:09 minutes of ice time. Considering he’ll receive three off days after this Sunday affair, it’s possible the 6′ 5″ forward will be able to fully recover from whatever ailment he’s been dealing with, which could spark a mid-season turnaround.

3. Jansen Harkins Comes Out of Lineup 

With Dubois returning to action, the Jets have decided to remove forward Jansen Harkins from the lineup, meaning teammate Nate Thompson will remain at center and will skate alongside Trevor Lewis and Mathieu Perreault on the fourth line. But considering Thompson earned less than seven minutes of ice time on Friday and also didn’t spend any of those minutes on the penalty kill, keeping him in the lineup is a very interesting decision.

While Harkins is pointless through 12 games this season, the 23-year-old has generated a 56.3% faceoff percentage and has also provided a jolt to his line at times, resulting in four scoring chances and a 0.48 xG during five-on-five situations. So if the club’s fourth line lacks that same level of energy on Sunday, it’ll be clear that Maurice probably should’ve kept the youngster in the lineup.

Lineups: 

Winnipeg Jets:

W C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

Rating: 79.5#5 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

Rating: 76.8#19 C

Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

Rating: 76.3#22 RW

Pierre-Luc Dubois⚠
PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS

Rating: 74.6#38 LW

Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 74.8#36 C

Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS

Rating: 75.7#20 RW

Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

Rating: 72.5#60 LW

Adam Lowry
ADAM LOWRY

Rating: 69.2#149 C

Mason Appleton
MASON APPLETON

Rating: 69.5#123 RW

Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT

Rating: 71.1#96 LW

Jansen Harkins
JANSEN HARKINS
Trevor Lewis
TREVOR LEWIS

Rating: 70.1#114 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Josh Morrissey
JOSH MORRISSEY

Rating: 74.1#29 LD

Tucker Poolman
TUCKER POOLMAN

Rating: 71.6#74 RD

Derek Forbort
DEREK FORBORT

Rating: 70.5#109 LD

Neal Pionk
NEAL PIONK

Rating: 75.3#20 RD

Nathan Beaulieu
NATHAN BEAULIEU

Rating: 72.1#72 LD

Dylan DeMelo
DYLAN DEMELO

Rating: 71.8#69 RD

Vancouver Canucks: 

LW C RW
Tanner Pearson
TANNER PEARSON

Rating: 73.7#38 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 74.8#34 C

Nils Hoglander
NILS HOGLANDER
J.T. Miller
J.T. MILLER

Rating: 78.5#7 LW

Elias Pettersson
ELIAS PETTERSSON

Rating: 77.7#14 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 74.1#41 RW

Antoine Roussel
ANTOINE ROUSSEL

Rating: 71.0#97 LW

Brandon Sutter
BRANDON SUTTER

Rating: 70.1#131 C

Adam Gaudette
ADAM GAUDETTE

Rating: 70.2#130 RW

Loui Eriksson
LOUI ERIKSSON

Rating: 69.7#123 LW

Jay Beagle
JAY BEAGLE

Rating: 68.4#163 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 72.0#78 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 74.3#26 LD

Nate Schmidt
NATE SCHMIDT

Rating: 75.5#18 RD

Quinn Hughes
QUINN HUGHES

Rating: 75.2#15 LD

Jordie Benn
JORDIE BENN

Rating: 70.9#101 RD

Olli Juolevi
OLLI JUOLEVI
Tyler Myers
TYLER MYERS

Rating: 72.6#50 RD

Where to watch/listen:

The puck will drop at 9 pm CT, make sure to rest up, and will be available on TSN 3 along with 680 CJOB.


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