Game Day Preview: Lightning @ Jets

Posted by Ezra Ginsburg in Game Previews,Winnipeg Jets on April 7, 2012 — No Comments

When: Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Time: 6:00 p.m. CST

Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Records: Winnipeg Jets (37-35-9), Tampa Bay Lightning (37-36-8)

Television/Radio:  CBC,CW44/ TSN Radio 1290

The Story: Tonight is the regular season finale for the Winnipeg Jets as they will host the Tampa Bay Lightning, looking to give their fans one final hurrah before they pack up their equipment for the summer.

The Jets won’t make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in their first year back in Winnipeg but with a roster loaded with young talent and a fan base that is passionately behind them, the future certainly looks ultra- bright in the River City.

So tonight’s game will be about the fans and saying goodbye to an inaugural season that was full of memorable moments. The Jets have posted a record of 23-13-4 at home this year, one of the best records in the National Hockey League and young stars such as Evander Kane, Ondrej Pavelec and Alexander Burmistrov have taken positive steps forward and shown that the future of the team is in solid hands.

The Jets will finish in either 10th, 11th or 12th place in the Eastern Conference but showed that they could compete with all of the other teams in their division on a nightly basis- Heading into the final game of the regular season, the Jets (83 points) were seven points behind the 8th place Washington Capitals (90 points) and five points behind the 9th place Buffalo Sabres (88 points).

Tonight’s game between the Jets and Lightning will be the sixth and final meeting of the season between the two teams with the Jets holding the season series edge with three wins to Tampa Bay’s two (two games have gone to overtime). The last time these two teams played was last Saturday, March 31st, a 3-2 Tampa Bay victory.

Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in goal for the Jets.

Follow @IllegalCurve on Twitter leading up to tonight’s game.

Projected Jets line combinations:

Goalie:

Ondrej Pavelec

Forwards:

1st: Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little- Blake Wheeler

2nd:  Evander Kane- Alexander Burmistrov- Spencer Machacek

3rd:  Chris Thorburn – Jim Slater- Patrice Cormier

4th:  Tim Stapleton – Nik Antropov – Antti Miettinen

Defence:

Dustin Byfuglien- Tobias Enstrom

Grant Clitsome- Zach Bogosian

Mark Flood-Mark Stuart

Offensive Leaders:

Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos (59 goals, 37 assists, 96 points), Martin St.Louis (25 goals, 48 assists, 73 points), Teddy Purcell (21 goals, 41 assists, 62 points)

Winnipeg JetsBlake Wheeler (17 goals, 46 assists, 63 points), Evander Kane (30 goals, 26 assists, 56 points), Dustin Byfuglien (12 goals, 41 assists, 53 points)

Injury Report:

Tampa Bay Lightning: Mathieu Garon (groin), Marc-Andre Bergeron (back), Dana Tyrell (knee), Mattias Ohlund (knee)

Winnipeg Jets:  Tanner Glass (foot, out for season), Eric Fehr (upper body), Kyle Wellwood (ankle, out for season), Randy Jones (upper body)

Who’s Next: Tonight’s game is the last game of the regular season for the Jets.

QUICKIES…..Prior to tonight’s game, the Jets will honor the memory of Dan Snyder by recognizing one Jets player with the Dan Snyder Memorial Award, which was established in 2004…..