December 15, 2019 - Pre-Game
5:00 PM EST
NSP+, TSN3
Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, MB
Preview

The Jets are returning home to Winnipeg to host the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, licking their wounds from a stinging loss on Thursday night.

A case could be made that it was the club's worst of the season, if not the most embarrassing.

Winnipeg finished a home-and-home set with the lowly Red Wings by dropping a 5-2 decision in Detroit.

The victory snapped the Red Wings' 12-game losing streak (0-10-2) as they recorded just their eighth win in 33 contests. The team had not been victorious since beating the Ducks in Anaheim on Nov. 12.

However, circumstances did seem to conspire against the Jets; all the breaks went against them in the first 24 minutes.

Detroit's Darren Helm scored the first goal when Jets defenseman Nathan Beaulieu bobbled the puck and was screened by the linesman, sending the speedy forward toward a breakaway goal against goalie Connor Hellebuyck.

The Red Wings' next two goals occurred when apparently harmless passes -- both by Robby Fabbri -- pinballed in past Hellebuyck off Winnipeg's Neal Pionk for a 3-0 lead.

"Those are some early Christmas gifts there," Fabbri admitted after the lucky bounces.

The Flyers come to Winnipeg for a 5 p.m. ET matinee matchup against the Jets, who are 9-3-1 in their last 13 games.

Unfortunately for the Jets, it does not appear Bryan Little will be contributing soon.

Little was struck in the head by puck during a Nov. 5 game against the New Jersey Devils, and the 13-year veteran forward is not close to returning, according to coach Paul Maurice.

"He's getting better. They are making a decision on whether there needs to be a surgical repair in the ear or not. So they are waiting for some healing to happen before they make that decision," Maurice said this week.

The team did welcome back Gabriel Bourque in the Detroit loss. The forward was hurt in the same game in New Jersey and missed 14 contests with a lower-body injury.

The Flyers had been playing good hockey -- going 7-2-1 in their last 10 -- before they lost 4-1 Saturday to the Wild in Minneapolis. It marked their third loss in the last four games.

While losing in the Twin Cities and having a late-night jaunt to Winnipeg were bad enough, the club's real concern was the injuries that mounted in the tough contest.

Philadelphia lost forwards Tyler Pitlick and Scott Laughton in the game, which featured the Flyers generating just 18 shots on goal.

"You can't control it. You need people to step up. We have the clientele in here to step up in those positions. We just have to find a way," said goalie Carter Hart, who allowed three goals on 27 shots in defeat.

James van Riemsdyk tallied his seventh marker in the match's first 94 seconds, but Minnesota score four unanswered, leaving the Flyers frustrated as they prepare to finish the three-game road trip.

Added defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere: "Whoever is in the lineup tomorrow will be ready to go. We need two points bad."

--Field Level Media