Game Day Preview: Jets @ Penguins

Posted by Ezra Ginsburg in Game Previews,Winnipeg Jets on March 20, 2012 — No Comments

When: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Time: 6:00 p.m. CST

Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Records: Winnipeg Jets (34-30-8), Pittsburgh Penguins (44-21-6)

Television/Radio: TSN-JETS (HD),ROOT (HD)/ TSN 1290 Radio

The Story: The Winnipeg Jets begin a three-game road trip tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Consol Energy Center and staying in the Eastern Conference playoff race is the only thing on their minds.

The Jets lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Sunday night and are now in 10th place in the East with 76 points. Both the Buffalo Sabres (9th place, 78 points) and Washington Capitals (8th place, 80 points) won last night which has really put the pressure on the Jets, who only have 10 games left to play in the regular season, including tonight (seven road games, three home games).

This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the Pens and Jets this season with Pittsburgh leading the season series two wins to Winnipeg’s one. The last meeting between the Penguins and Jets was back on Saturday, February 11, an embarrassing 8-5 win for Pittsburgh.

After tonight’s game against the Penguins, the Jets will have two days off before they play back-to-back games against the Washington Capitals on Friday, March 23rd (6:00 p.m. CST) followed by a game against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, March 24th (6:00 p.m. CST).

Winnipeg enters tonight’s game with injuries to key players as forward Nikolai Antropov (64 games played, 13 goals, 20 assists, 33 points) suffered a lower-body injury in Sunday night’s game. Antropov will not play tonight for the Jets and with Eric Fehr already sidelined (but traveling with the team), the Jets have called up Ben Maxwell from St.John’s of the AHL.

Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian will be in the line-up for the Jets tonight. Bogosian was not fined or suspended by the NHL for his charging penalty on Andreas Nodl in Sunday night’s game. Bogosian received a five-minute major and game misconduct on the play.

Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in goal for the Jets tonight.  According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brad Thiessen is expected to start for the Penguins.

Projected Jets line combinations:

Goalie:

Ondrej Pavelec

Forwards:

1st: Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little- Blake Wheeler

2nd:  Evander Kane- Alexander Burmistrov- Kyle Wellwood

3rd:  Tanner Glass- Jim Slater- Spencer Machacek

4th:  Tim Stapleton – Ben Maxwell – Antti Miettinen

Defence:

Dustin Byfuglien- Tobias Enstrom

Ron Hainsey- Zach Bogosian

Grant Clitsome-Mark Stuart

Offensive Leaders:

Pittsburgh Penguins: Evgeni Malkin (41 goals, 47 assists, 88 points), James Neal (32 goals, 36 assists, 68 points), Chris Kunitz (21 goals, 27 assists, 48 points)

Winnipeg JetsBlake Wheeler (17 goals, 42 assists, 59 points), Evander Kane (28 goals, 23 assists, 51 points), Dustin Byfuglien (11 goals, 35 assists, 46 points)

Injury Report:

Pittsburgh Penguins: Dustin Jeffrey (illness), Brent Johnson (illness), Mike Comrie (hip surgery, retired)

Winnipeg Jets:  Chris Thorburn (upper body), Eric Fehr (upper body), Nikolai Antropov (lower body)

Who’s Next: The Jets next game is on Friday, March 23rd, on the road, against the Washington Capitals (6:00 p.m. CST).

QUICKIES…..Join The Illegal Curve crew at The Cheer Bar & Grill tonight (corner of Osborne and Stradbrook) for the Jets/Penguins game starting at 6:00 p.m. CST……