Namestnikov, Dillon out for injuries as Jets face series elimination in Game 5

Winnipeg forward Vladislav Namestnikov and defenceman Brenden Dillon are recovering from injuries and won’t be available for Game 5 against Colorado on Tuesday night as the Jets try to avoid playoff elimination.

Namestnikov fractured his cheekbone in Game 4 on Sunday when he was hit by a deflected puck on a shot. Dillon suffered a deep laceration on his hand in a scrum after the final horn of Game 3 when he appeared to be cut by a skate blade. The Jets trail 3-1 in the first-round, best-of-seven series.

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Brenden Dillon during a game against the Dallas Stars in Dallas on April 11. Winnipeg Jets coach Rick Bowness says Dillon is ‘day to day’ after suffering a hand injury in Game 3 in the series against the Colorado Avalanche. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tony Gutierrez

Jets coach Rick Bowness said Tuesday following the morning skate in Winnipeg that he checked in with Namestnikov the night before. Namestnikov stayed an extra day in Denver to recover.

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“He’s nauseous. He hasn’t eaten. So he’s not feeling great,” Bowness said. “Dilly, of course, you know him — two broken hands and he’d still want to play, but we’ll give him a couple days.”

Forward Cole Perfetti, a first-round pick in 2020, is expected to make his NHL playoff debut. It’s a difficult moment for the 22-year-old after seeing the injury to Namestnikov.

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“He’s one of our brothers and such a great guy. He plays his heart out every single game,” Perfetti said. “To see that happen, I mean, for the people that were there in the rink it was silent. You could hear a pin drop. It was tough to watch, to see one of your really good friends and teammate and brother go down like that and kind of not know really what was happening.”

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The 31-year-old Namestnikov was trying to jump out of the way of a shot from teammate Nate Schmidt when the puck hit a stick and struck him. Namestnikov stayed down on the ice as trainers rushed out. He went to the hospital for further evaluation.

“It was great to see him after he saw the doctors and what-not, and he was doing relatively OK,” Perfetti said. “That was a big relief for us.”

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John Shannon on the Jets: April 29

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