Michael Hutchinson was given the chance to serve as Winnipeg's No. 2 netminder last season -- especially with Connor Hellebuyck underperforming -- but his own struggles forced the organization to bring in former Flyer Steve Mason during the offseason. As a result, the 27-year-old Hutchinson will return to AHL Manitoba for the bulk of the 2017-18 campaign as he enters the final year of his contract.
Hutchinson made 24 saves on 26 shots during Tuesday's 5-2 road win over the Blues. With that, Hutchinson is now the owner of a three-game winning streak during which he's allowed just six goals. Additionally, over his last five starts, the 27-year-old has allowed more than two goals in a game just once. However, despite this hot streak, Hutchinson could be tough to trust against the final two solid offenses on the schedule, assuming he even draws starts in those contests.
Hutchinson will be in the blue paint for Tuesday's contest in St. Louis, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports. After going long stretches of the season without seeing any action, Tuesday will mark Hutchinson's sixth start in the last nine games. One reason he could be getting more chances in net is the fact that Winnipeg's been eliminated from playoff contention, but a more likely reason is just how well he's been playing. Over this recent stretch, Hutchinson is 4-1-0 with a 1.83 GAA and .938 save percentage for the red-hot Jets, who have won seven of their last nine contests.
Hutchinson turned aside 25 of 28 shots in a 4-3 overtime win over Anaheim on Thursday. That's back-to-back wins for the 27-year-old, who has actually emerged victorious in four of his last five appearances despite having a total of just eight victories in 27 outings this season. Given Hutchinson's recent ability to earn W's, he might not be a bad play in daily formats for the last few games of the 2016-17 campaign.
Hutchinson will guard the goal in Thursday's home game against the Ducks, TSN's Sara Orlesky reports. Hutchinson has been fantastic in the month of March, compiling a 3-1-0 record while registering an impressive 1.83 GAA and .941 save percentage over five appearances. The 27-year-old netminder will look to keep rolling and pick up his eighth victory of the season in a tough home matchup with a red-hot Ducks team that's gone 8-1-1 over its last 10 games.
Hutchinson turned away 28 of 29 shots in Sunday's win over Vancouver. It was a great showing from Hutchinson, who has looked solid in his last three starts. The 27-year-old hasn't been a very serviceable fantasy netminder this season with just seven wins and a .903 save percentage, but he appears on track to finish the year strong. He's outplaying Connor Hellebuyck right now, so the Jets are likely to continue riding the hot hand. Hutchinson has had a disappointing season, but his strong play of late could make him worth a look down the final stretch.
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