Game Day Preview: Jets @ Canadiens
When: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m. CST
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Records: Winnipeg Jets (18-18-2 – 3rd in East), Montreal Canadiens (23-8-5- 2nd in East)
Television/Radio: RDS, TSN-JETS, TSN-HABS/TSN 1290
The Story: The 2013 NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone which mean it’s time for the Winnipeg Jets to get back to business, starting with a road date with the Montreal Canadiens tonight.
The Jets have lost four games in a row and are desperately seeking a win as teams have gained ground on them over the past week in the ever so tight race for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With only 10 games to go in the regular season, the Jets still hold down 3rd place in the Eastern Conference courtesy of their Southeast Division lead but the surging Washington Capitals trail them by just two points now with two games in hand.
The Jets are coming off a disappointing 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday night and are trying to avoid a sweep as they end their current three game road trip, already losers of two games. The loss to the Islanders came at a price as forward Nikolai Antropov was injured in the game and will be out of the line-up for the next two weeks. The Jets claimed former 20-goal scorer Mike Santorelli off waivers from the Florida Panthers on Wednesday and he is expected to be in the line-up for the Jets tonight in place of Antropov.
Game Day Update: Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press is reporting that Kyle Wellwood will not dress for the Jets tonight and will be replaced in the line-up by Aaron Gagnon, who was recalled from the St.John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.
The Canadiens are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers and are currently clinging to a one point lead over the Boston Bruins for the Northeast Division lead and 2nd place in the Eastern Conference. Montreal was relatively quiet on Trade Deadline Wednesday after acquiring Davis Drewiske from the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday for a 2013 5th Round draft pick.
This is the second of three meetings between the Canadiens and Jets this season with Montreal holding the season series lead with one win. Montreal defeated the Jets 4-3 back on January 29th in Montreal. The third and final meeting of the season between the Jets and Canadiens will be the last game of the regular season for the Jets and will take place in Winnipeg on Thursday, April 25th at 7:00 p.m.
Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in net for the Jets tonight. It will be Pavelec’s 35th start of the season.
Follow @IllegalCurve on Twitter leading up to today’s game.
Projected Jets line combinations (subject to change before game time):
1st: Andrew Ladd- Bryan Little- Dustin Byfuglien
2nd: Evander Kane-Olli Jokinen- Blake Wheeler
3rd: Eric Tangradi– Alexander Burmistrov- Mike Santorelli
4th: Antti Miettinen- Aaron Gagnon – Chris Thorburn
Tobias Enstrom- Ron Hainsey
Zach Bogosian- Mark Stuart
Paul Postma- Grant Clitsome
* BOLD indicates player wasn’t in line-up for the Jets last game
Montreal Canadiens: Max Pacioretty (11 goals, 19 assists, 30 points), PK Subban (10 goals, 18 assists, 28 points), Tomas Plekanec (13 goals, 14 assists, 27 points)
Winnipeg Jets: Andrew Ladd (14 goals, 18 assists, 32 points), Blake Wheeler (14 goals, 14 assists, 28 points) Evander Kane (13 goals, 13 assists, 26 points)
Montreal Canadiens: Tomas Plekanec (lower body), Colby Armstrong (knee), Ryan White (lower body), Yannick Weber (knee), Raphael Diaz (concussion), Rene Bourque (concussion)
Winnipeg Jets: Zach Redmond (leg), Anthony Peluso (hand), Jim Slater (upper body), James Wright (undisclosed), Nikolai Antropov (lower body)
Who’s Next: The Jets return home after Thursday’s game for a Saturday afternoon matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers on April 6th (2:00 p.m. CST)
QUICKIES….. Patrice Cormier was re-assigned to the St.John’s IceCaps on Wednesday. He had no points and 7 Penalty Minutes with the Jets in 10 games played…..