When: Friday, March 22, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m. CST
Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Records: Winnipeg Jets (16-13-2 – 3rd in East), Washington Capitals (13-16-1 – 13th in East)
Television/Radio: CBC, CSN-DC/ TSN 1290
The Story: The Winnipeg Jets host the Washington Capitals for the second time in as many nights tonight, looking for a little bit of revenge after they were defeated 4-0 on home ice less than 24 hours ago.
Despite Thursday night’s loss, Winnipeg still holds down 3rd place in the Eastern Conference heading into tonight’s game because the Carolina Hurricanes were defeated 4-1 by the New Jersey Devils and thus failed to gain any ground on them. Winnipeg, who has 34 points on the season, is in 3rd place via their 1st place standing in the Southeast Division.
The Jets got off to a horrendous start on Thursday night and they never fully recovered. Capitals Assistant Captain Troy Brouwer scored three minutes into the game and the Capitals never looked back as they outplayed and outchanced the Jets for the majority of the game. Russian sniper Alexander Ovechkin officially put the game away in the 3rd period when he ripped home a one-timer on the power play. It was Ovechkin’s 13th goal of the season and it turned out to be the final nail in the coffin for the Jets.
In his post-game press conference Thursday night, Jets Head Coach Claude Noel uttered the already famous line “They’re playing chess, we’re playing checkers” which was an accurate summation of the way Washington matched lines and executed their game plan against his team.
If the Jets want to have any success tonight, it is pretty simple: they need to start scoring goals. Washington and, goaltender Braden Holtby specifically, have been awesome and have now held the Jets to no goals for six straight periods of hockey, which is truly mind-boggling when you consider both of those games were played at the MTS Centre.
Top guns Evander Kane, Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd are going to have to start putting the puck in the net starting tonight or the Jets won’t even stand a chance.
There are no line-up changes expected for the Jets or Capitals tonight however Jets defenseman Mark Stuart may not play tonight as he left last night’s game after colliding hard with Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin. Stuart is currently listed as a game-time decision.
If there are any line-up changes leading up to tonight’s game, @ICDave will have you covered. Also, follow @IllegalCurve for all your Jets news leading up to tonight’s game.
This is the fourth of five meetings between the Capitals and Jets this year. Washington leads the season series two games to one. The Jets defeated the Capitals 4-2 back on January 22nd and Washington defeated Winnipeg 3-0 on Saturday, March 2nd. The Jets will play the Capitals for the final time on Tuesday, April 23rd in Washington (6:00 p.m. CST).
Ondrej Pavelec is expected to get the start in goal for the Winnipeg Jets.
Braden Holtby is expected to get the start for the Washington Capitals.
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-Nikolai Antropov- Kyle Wellwood
3rd: James Wright– Olli Jokinen- Antti Miettinen
4th: Eric Tangradi- Alexander Burmistrov – Chris Thorburn
Ron Hainsey- Zach Bogosian
Dustin Byfuglien- Grant Clitsome
Derek Meech- Mark Stuart
Washington Capitals: Mike Ribeiro (10 goals, 12 assists, 32 points), Alex Ovechkin (13 goals, 14 assists, 27 points), Nicklas Backstrom (4 goals, 22 assists, 26 points)
Winnipeg Jets: Andrew Ladd (14 goals, 16 assists, 30 points), Blake Wheeler (14 goals, 12 assists, 26 points) Evander Kane (12 goals, 9 assists, 21 points)
Washington Capitals: Tom Poti (back), Tomas Kundratek (leg), John Erskine (upper body)
Winnipeg Jets: Tobias Enstrom (shoulder, week to week), Zach Redmond (leg), Anthony Peluso (hand), Jim Slater (upper body)
Who’s Next: The Jets wrap up their homestand on Sunday, March 24th against Tampa Bay (7:00 p.m. CST). After that the Jets have two road games, starting on Tuesday, March 26th against the Carolina Hurricanes (6:00 p.m. CST) followed by a game on Thursday, March 28th against the Pittsburgh Penguins (6:00 p.m. CST).
QUICKIES…..Bryan Little has the best Plus/Minus on the Jets at Plus-9….. Olli Jokinen has the worst Plus/Minus on the Jets at Minus-14…..