When: Friday, March 30, 2012
Time: 6:00 p.m. CST
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
Records: Winnipeg Jets (35-34-8), Carolina Hurricanes (31-31-15)
Television/Radio: TSN-JETS (HD),FS-CR (HD) / TSN Radio 1290
The Story: The Winnipeg Jets visit the Carolina Hurricanes tonight looking to end a three-game losing streak.
The Jets lost to the New York Rangers 4-2 on Wednesday night and are 1-5 in their last six games. With just eight days left in the 2011’12 NHL Regular Season, the Jets playoff chances are extremely slim as they are now 8 points behind the 8th place Washington Capitals for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Heading into tonight’s game, the Jets are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 78 points, six points behind the 9th place Buffalo Sabres (84 points) Including tonight, the Jets have four games remaining on the road and one game remaining at home (last game of the season, April 7th versus the Tampa Bay Lightning).
After tonight’s game against the Hurricanes, the Jets will play the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow night in the second game of a back-to-back set. The Jets will then have two days off before their next game, Tuesday, April 3rd against the Florida Panthers (6:30 p.m. CST). The Jets will close out their four-game road trip against the New York Islanders on Thursday, April 5th (6:30 p.m. CST) before coming home to close out their season against Tampa two nights later.
Tonight’s game between the Jets and Hurricanes will be the sixth and final meeting of the season between the two teams with Winnipeg holding the season series edge with three wins to two. The last time these two teams played was less than two weeks ago, March 18th, a 3-2 come-from-behind Carolina victory that put a serious dent in Winnipeg’s playoff aspirations.
The Hurricanes enter tonight’s game on the heels of a 3-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. The 12th place Hurricanes have won six of their last ten games.
The starting goaltender for the Hurricanes will be Cam Ward (Hat tip, Chip Alexander of News and Observer). Chris Mason is expected to get the start for the Jets.
Follow @IllegalCurve on Twitter leading up to tonight’s game.
Projected Jets line combinations:
1st: Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little- Blake Wheeler
2nd: Evander Kane- Alexander Burmistrov- Antti Miettinen
3rd: Tanner Glass- Jim Slater- Spencer Machacek
4th: Tim Stapleton – Nik Antropov – Kyle Wellwood
Dustin Byfuglien- Tobias Enstrom
Ron Hainsey- Zach Bogosian
Grant Clitsome–Mark Stuart
Carolina Hurricanes: Eric Staal (23 goals, 45 assists, 68 points), Jussi Jokinen (12 goals, 33 assists, 45 points), Jeff Skinner (20 goals, 23 assists, 43 points)
Winnipeg Jets: Blake Wheeler (17 goals, 44 assists, 61 points), Evander Kane (29 goals, 24 assists, 53 points), Dustin Byfuglien (11 goals, 36 assists, 47 points)
Carolina Hurricanes: Andreas Nodl (undisclosed)
Winnipeg Jets: Chris Thorburn (lower body), Eric Fehr (upper body)
Who’s Next: The Jets next game is on Saturday, March 31st, on the road, against the Tampa Bay Lightning (6:00 p.m. CST).
QUICKIES…..Join The Illegal Curve Crew tonight at The Cheer Bar & Grill (Osborne and Stradbrook) for the Jets/Hurricanes game…..