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Jets need Hutchinson to rediscover early-season form; Wheeler out

Winnipeg Jets v Toronto Maple Leafs

Winnipeg Jets v Toronto Maple Leafs

NHLI via Getty Images

For a Winnipeg Jets team that’s had goaltending at the heart of its playoff drought since moving from Atlanta in 2011, there has to be some level of concern about Michael Hutchinson.

Hutchinson -- the 24-year-old rookie goalie who was so surprisingly good earlier this season -- has not been so good lately. In his last eight appearances, he’s surrendered at least four goals on six occasions. His save percentage in February is a lowly .881.

Hutchinson is expected to start tonight versus Dallas at MTS Centre, where the Jets -- as if they didn’t already have injury concerns -- will be without another of their top scorers, Blake Wheeler, who’s been ruled out with an undisclosed injury.

With just four wins in their last 13, their playoff cushion down to a mere three points, the pressure’s mounting.

“We’re missing some offensive guys and some of our leading scorers,” said center Bryan Little, per the Free Press. “Our main focus [against the Stars] has to be to not get into a game where we’re just trading opportunities with them. ... And if we have to win in a low-scoring game, then we’ll have to do that.”