JETS (33-33-10) at COYOTES (36-27-12)
Season series: This is the third and final game between the Winnipeg Jets and Phoenix Coyotes. Phoenix will look to avoid being swept after losing the first two games at MTS Centre.
Big story: The Coyotes enter Tuesday's game one point ahead of the Dallas Stars for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference race to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Dallas visits the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. The Coyotes fell five points behind the Minnesota Wild for the top wild-card spot after the Wild rallied for a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.
Coyotes: With seven games left on their schedule, the Coyotes know each point is crucial towards their bid for a playoff spot. Tuesday marks the beginning of a stretch that sees them play three games in four nights, which could be a good thing. After all, it won't give them much time to think about the race.
"It's game-by-game, but you've got to treat it with the (playoff) mind-set of you have to prepare for a game, play it, get the result and then put it behind you and move on to the next one," Head Coach Dave Tippett said Monday. "Right now that's our mind-set -- prepare for every game as hard as we can and try to get the result that we want."
He added, "This is when you find out a lot about players. You find out in the guts of the game who's going to be the guys that pull you through. If you're a player, you want to be in that situation."
Backup goalie Thomas Greiss to make his career-high 4th consecutive start tonight in place of injured Mike Smith, who skated on his own Monday. Greiss has played 63 NHL games but he has never faced the Jets franchise in his career. His nine wins are the most by a Coyotes backup goaltender since the 2007-08 season (Mikael Tellqvist, nine).
Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who averages 25:23 of ice time on home ice, has scored two of his 13 goals this season against Winnipeg.
Defenseman Michael Stone, who grew up in Winnipeg, has established career highs this season in games (64), goals (eight), assists (12) and points (20).
Jets: Winnipeg blew a 4-0 lead en route to a 5-4 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday and trail the Coyotes by eight points.
Winnipeg's players were practically at a loss for words after what transpired at Honda Center on Monday. Goals from Jacob Trouba, Matt Halischuk, Blake Wheeler and Eric Tangradi had the Jets up 4-0 midway through the second period, but it wasn't enough to secure two points in the standings. Anaheim scored late in the second and added three more in the third, capped by Corey Perry's game-tying goal at 19:37. Stephane Robidas won it 16 seconds into overtime.
"It's frustrating," Jets defenseman Mark Stuart told reporters after the game. "There's not a whole lot to say right now after a game like that. It's shock. I don't know, I don't have a whole lot for you."
Goalie Ondrej Pavelec will again get the start for the Jets. Despite the collapse Monday night, in which Anaheim outshot the Jets 24-6 in the third, Head Coach Paul Maurice defended his goaltender.
"He played a heck of a game. He made some great saves in the third period," Maurice said following practice on Tuesday. "They had some fine scoring chances, he played well."
Who's hot: Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker has scored two goals in his past three games... Jets forward Bryan Little had an assist Monday and extended his point streak to six games (two goals, five assists).
Injury report: Smith (lower body) skated Monday and Tippett said Smith is not expected to be reevaluated until later in the week. Forward David Moss (lower body) could play Tuesday; defenseman David Schlemko (lower body) skated before practice Monday but won't play... Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian (upper body) and Keaton Ellerby (lower body) are day-to-day. Defenseman Grant Clitsome (back surgery), and forwards Mark Scheifele (sprained MCL), Chris Thorburn (broken foot) and James Wright (sprained ankle) are on injured reserve.
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