Why lack of physicality from blue line is Winnipeg Jets biggest concern – Sportsnet.ca

Why lack of physicality from blue line is Winnipeg Jets\ biggest concern - Sportsnet.ca
Winnipeg Jets lose two more key defencemen
Jets coach Paul Maurice said Josh Morrissey would miss a second straight game on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins because of an undisclosed injury suffered Sunday in a pre-game warmup.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad when they host the Winnipeg Jets at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

Each center sustained a lower-body injury during a 7-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. Malkin and Bjugstad were placed on injured reserve Monday and are expected to be out long term.

Jared McCann will play second-line center in place of Malkin. Teddy Blueger will likely replace Bjugstad at third-line center.

The Jets, who are concluding a season-opening four-game road trip, will be without defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who was granted a personal leave. He is celebrating the birth of his second child, according to a post from his wifes Instagram page.

Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey will miss his second straight game after sustaining an upper-body injury during warmups prior to a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday.

Jets forward Mark Scheifele has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 11 games against the Penguins. He has three points (one goal, two assists) in three games this season.

Penguins forward Brandon Tanev will face his former team for the first time since signing with Pittsburgh on July 1. He played his first four NHL seasons with the Jets.

“Its all about growth for that blue line. Weve got new pairings. … Youve got to rally some guys. Have lots of confidence in their ability to move the puck.” — Jets coach Paul Maurice on Winnipegs defensemen

The Jets placed Little on injured reserve and recalled Niku and Nogier from Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. … Agozzino is expected to play his first game for the Penguins. He has played 21 NHL games, all with the Colorado Avalanche, across three seasons since 2014. … Lafferty could make his NHL debut.

Wheeler needs one point to reach 700 in the NHL. He has three points (two goals, one assist) in three games this season. … Crosby is one point from passing Jean Beliveau for sole possession of 41st on the NHLs all-time points list with 1,220. He has three assists in two games this season.