Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jets Defenceman Byfuglien out Two-to-Four Weeks with Upper-Body Injury

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jets Defenceman Byfuglien out Two-to-Four Weeks with Upper-Body Injury

Article excerpt

Byfuglien out two-to-four weeks with injury

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WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets received a double dose of bad news Friday that could make it harder for them to hold on to a playoff spot.

Head coach Paul Maurice said following practice that versatile defenceman Dustin Byfuglien and top-line centre Bryan Little are out with injuries. Little could miss a couple of games while Byfuglien will be sidelined two-to-four weeks.

But Maurice noted it's a chance for other players to yet again pick up the slack.

"You are the sum of your parts," Maurice said. "So your parts aren't maybe not as talented as they were, but that doesn't mean the sum can't be as good."

Byfuglien left Wednesday night's 3-1 loss to Ottawa in the second period with an upper-body injury.

Little played through an upper-body injury also suffered in the game. The good news is Little will be with the club when it begins a four-game road trip Saturday night against Nashville (41-18-7).

But replacing the pair won't be easy for the Jets (32-21-12), who hold the Western Conference's second wild-card spot with 76 points, one behind seventh-place Minnesota.

The Calgary Flames (35-25-4, 74 points) and Los Angeles Kings (31-21-12, 74 points) were tied for ninth heading into Friday's action.

Byfuglien has 15 goals and 42 points this season, helping Winnipeg weather its other injuries by being able to play both forward and defence.

"I won't give you the exact poundage," Maurice quipped when asked how big a loss it will be not having the six-foot-five, 260-pound Byfuglien in the lineup. "We'll miss him.

"He's a force back there for sure. We've dealt with a number of these injuries on our back end. We have good people to put in the lineup and they've played well and won games."

Little is Winnipeg's top goalscorer (24) and stands second in points (51).

Maurice said Little was quite sore Thursday, which was an off-day for the Jets, but will accompany the team on its road trip. …

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