Game Day Preview: Rangers @ Jets
When: Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Time: 6:00 p.m. CST
Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Records: Winnipeg Jets (35-33-8), New York Rangers (47-21-7)
Television/Radio: TSN,RDSI (HD),MSG PLUS (HD) / TSN Radio 1290
The Story: The Winnipeg Jets will look to avenge Monday night’s loss when they host the New York Rangers tonight at the MTS Centre (6:00 p.m. CST).
The Jets lost to the Ottawa Senators 6-4 two nights ago and are now eight points behind the 8th place Buffalo Sabres for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Heading into tonight’s game, the Jets remain in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 78 points, six points behind the 9th place Washington Capitals (84 points), with only six games remaining on the season. The Jets have a game in hand on both the Sabres and Capitals but Washington has the most regulation wins of the three teams (Washington has 36 regulation wins, the Jets have 31 regulation wins and the Sabres have 31 regulation wins).
Including tonight, the Jets have two games left at home and four games remaining on the road. After tonight’s game against the Rangers, the Jets will play four consecutive games on the road starting with back-to-back games against the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning beginning on Friday, March 30th.
Tonight’s game between the Jets and Rangers will be the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two teams with New York holding the season series edge with all three wins. The last time these two teams played was back on January 24th, a 3-0 Rangers victory. In three games this season, New York has outscored the Jets 7-1.
The Rangers enter tonight’s game on the heels of a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild last night. New York has won two games in a row and are in 1st place in the Eastern Conference with 103 points.
Ondrej Pavelec will make his 13th straight start tonight for the Jets.
Projected Jets line combinations:
1st: Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little- Blake Wheeler
2nd: Evander Kane- Alexander Burmistrov- Kyle Wellwood
3rd: Tanner Glass- Jim Slater- Antti Miettinen
4th: Tim Stapleton – Ben Maxwell – Spencer Machacek
Dustin Byfuglien- Tobias Enstrom
Ron Hainsey- Zach Bogosian
Grant Clitsome-Mark Stuart
New York Rangers: Marian Gaborik (37 goals, 31 assists, 68 points), Brad Richards (24 goals, 35 assists, 69 points), Ryan Callahan (27 goals, 24 assists, 51 points)
Winnipeg Jets: Blake Wheeler (17 goals, 43 assists, 60 points), Evander Kane (29 goals, 24 assists, 53 points), Dustin Byfuglien (11 goals, 36 assists, 47 points)
New York Rangers: Chris Drury (knee, retired), Alexander Frolov (knee), Steve Eminger (ankle), Mats Zuccarello (wrist), Michael Sauer (concussion)
Winnipeg Jets: Chris Thorburn (lower body), Eric Fehr (upper body), Nikolai Antropov (lower body)
Who’s Next: The Jets next game is on Friday, March 30th, on the road, against the Carolina Hurricanes (6:00 p.m. CST).
QUICKIES…..On Tuesday, Jim Slater was named the Winnipeg Jets nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy which recognizes perserverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey…..Antti Miettinen has four goals in his last five games…..