Game Day Preview: Hurricanes @ Jets
When: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m. CST
Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Records: Winnipeg Jets (22-19-2 – 9th in East), Carolina Hurricanes (17-23-2- 14th in East)
Television/Radio: FS-CR, TSN-JETS/TSN 1290
The Story: The Winnipeg Jets will be seeking their fifth win in a row tonight when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to town for a Thursday night matchup.
The Jets defeated the Tampa Bay Lighting 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday night to preserve the team’s perfect record on this current six-game home stand but unfortunately the club failed to move out of 9th place. The Jets now have 46 points -the same total as the New York Rangers- but Winnipeg remains below the playoff line due to the Rangers having played the fewer number of games.
With just five games to go in the season, the Jets may have to win four games to have a good shot at making the playoffs and that might not even be enough. After tonight, the Jets will play the New York Islanders at home on Saturday afternoon, followed by a back-to-back set against the Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals next Monday and Tuesday. The Jets will play their final regular season game at home against the Montreal Canadiens next Thursday.
Carolina comes into Winnipeg having won only two of their last 10 games and are now in serious contention for one of the Top 5 picks in this summers NHL Entry Draft. Since number-1 goaltender Cam Ward went down with a knee injury in early March, the Hurricanes have a record of 5-15-1. To make matters worst, 2010’11 Calder Trophy winner Jeff Skinner left Tuesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators after being levelled by Jared Cowen at centre ice. Skinner will not dress for the Hurricanes tonight.
There probably won’t be any line-up changes for the Jets tonight and why would there be? Winnipeg has outscored their opponents 18-7 on this current home stand and are rolling four lines on a consistent basis. Captain Andrew Ladd has 8 points in his last four games (4 goals, 4 assists) and continues to lead the team’s offensive attack on the number-1 line alongside Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler.
This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the Hurricanes and Jets with the Jets leading the season series two games to one. The Jets defeated the Hurricanes 4-3 on February 21st in Carolina and March 26th in Carolina while Carolina defeated the Jets 3-1 in Winnipeg on March 30th.
Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in net for the Jets tonight.
Justin Peters is expected to start in net for the Hurricanes tonight.
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- Blake Wheeler
2nd: Evander Kane-Olli Jokinen- Kyle Wellwood
3rd: Eric Tangradi– Alexander Burmistrov- Mike Santorelli
4th: James Wright- Aaron Gagnon - Chris Thorburn
Grant Clitsome – Dustin Byfuglien
Zach Bogosian- Ron Hainsey
Paul Postma- Mark Stuart
Carolina Hurricanes: Eric Staal (17 goals, 29 assists, 46 points), Alexander Semin (10 goals, 28 assists, 38 points), Jiri Tlusty (19 goals, 11 assists, 30 points)
Winnipeg Jets: Andrew Ladd (18 goals, 23 assists, 41 points), Blake Wheeler (16 goals, 19 assists, 35 points) Evander Kane (16 goals, 15 assists, 31 points)
Carolina Hurricanes: Joni Pitkanen (heel), Jeff Skinner (upper body), Tim Brent (lower body), Tim Wallace (upper body), Drayson Bowman (upper body)
Winnipeg Jets: Anthony Peluso (hand), Jim Slater (upper body), Nikolai Antropov (lower body), Tobias Enstrom (mid-body, week to week)
Who’s Next: The Jets host the New York Islanders on Saturday, April 20th at 2:00 p.m. CST.
QUICKIES….. Evander Kane is ranked 2nd in the NHL with 176 shots. Alexander Ovechkin leads the NHL with 198 shots…..On Wednesday the Jets announced that 24-year-defenceman Zach Redmond was assigned to the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League on a conditioning stint. Redmond suffered a life-threatening leg injury in early February when a skate accidentally cut his femoral artery, causing him to lose a significant amount of blood. Redmond has played in eight games for the Jets this year, registering a goal and three assists…..