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This Thursday, the Winnipeg Jets and the Florida Panthers will face each other in a game on Finnish soil. Touting two of the biggest Finnish stars in the NHL in Patrik Laine and Aleksander Barkov, the NHL is showcasing its stars and the league on the other side of the Atlantic.
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For Florida, the change of scenery will be welcomed. They’ve struggled out of the gate to a 2-4-3 record and rank in the bottom half of the league in both goals for and goals against. That slow start can be partially attributed to an injury to their starting goaltender, Roberto Luongo, who has been out with a knee injury since the first game of the season. James Reimer and Michael Hutchinson haven’t been adequate fill-ins between the pipes, and Florida has struggled to keep the puck out of their net.
Winnipeg has benefitted from much more success, going 7-4-1 through the early part of the season. Strong play from Mark Scheifele (6 goals, 6 assists) and Blake Wheeler (2 goals, 9 assists) has led the Jets to the 3rd best powerplay in the NHL. Now with back-to-back games in Helsinki on Thursday and Friday (2 PM ET), both teams will have a chance to register four points in the standings.
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