SPORTS

NHL: 3 things to know for Sunday

03/01/2015 01:59 EST | Updated 05/01/2015 05:59 EDT
The Winnipeg Jets should get a lift with the expected return of top-line winger Blake Wheeler, while Toronto hopes to snap its 15-game road losing streak against the Washington Capitals, who might have newcomer Tim Gleason in the lineup.

Here are three things you need to know.

Wheeler expected in Jets’ lineup

Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff might still be looking to deal before Monday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline, but Sunday’s offensive boost won’t be the result of a recent trade. First-line winger Blake Wheeler is expected in the lineup against Los Angeles after a two-game absence with a lower-body injury, but he might give way to Michael Frolik on the top unit with Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little to start the game. Winnipeg, which holds down the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference, had its four-game win streak snapped in Thursday’s 2-1 shootout loss to St. Louis.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings have dropped two straight on the heels of an eight-game winning streak. They are four points behind the Jets with two games in hand and one point back of Minnesota for the second wild-card berth.

Ex-Leaf Gleason to make Caps debut?

Tim Gleason played 39 games on the Toronto Maple Leafs blue-line last season and might have a chance to try and extend their road woes with his new team in Washington. The Capitals acquired the rugged rearguard on Saturday from Carolina, where he had seven points in 55 contests this season. Montreal extended the Leafs’ road losing streak to 15 with Saturday’s 4-0 win. Toronto, which is 7-6-1 this season in the second game of back-to-back starts, is fast approaching the longest road winless mark of 18, set during the 1982-83 season. Earlier Sunday, the Leafs claimed well-travelled defenceman Tim Erixon off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. The defenceman has 13 points in 78 NHL games.

Washington, the wild-card leader in the East, is 8-1-1 in its last 10 home games against the Maple Leafs. They have also earned a point in 14 of their last 17 at Verizon Center. Captain Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 39, and has 28 goals and 50 points in 35 games versus Toronto.

Corrado to emerge from infirmary

It could be a quiet time for the Vancouver Canucks leading up to Monday’s trade deadline, but the good news is players are slowly making their way back in the lineup. Defenceman Frank Corrado should suit up Sunday against the visiting St. Louis Blues. Corrado missed 13 games with an upper-body injury. Fellow blue-liner Chris Tanev (head) made it through Saturday’s practice but isn’t ready for game action. Defencemen Alex Edler (upper body) and Kevin Bieksa (hand) along with forwards Alex Burrows (suspected groin injury) and Brad Richardson (foot) remain out. Vancouver, which returns home from a 3-2 road trip, currently holds down second place in the Pacific Division.

The Blues, who are third in the West, arrive fresh off Saturday’s 2-1 win at Edmonton, where pending unrestricted free-agent defenceman Jeff Petry was scratched for the Oilers and rumours had him St. Louis-bound. The Blues have faced Vancouver once this season, falling to the Canucks 4-1 on Oct. 23 on home ice.

Elsewhere, the Dallas Stars will try to avoid a sixth consecutive game when they host Anaheim and Ducks newcomer Tomas Fleischmann, who was acquired Saturday from Florida in exchange for Dany Heatley and a 2015 third-round draft pick.

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