When: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m. CST
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
Records: Winnipeg Jets (6-8-1 – 11th in East), Carolina Hurricanes (8-5-1 – 3rd in East)
Television/Radio: FS-Carolinas, TSN-JETS/TSN 1290
The Story: The Winnipeg Jets started this road trip off on the right foot as they held on for a win against the lowly Buffalo Sabres. They now face stiffer competition as they get ready to play their first game against the Carolina Hurricanes who are in 3rd place in the Southeast Division but sit just four points above the Jets in the standings.
Scoring continues to elude Winnipeg as they have not scored more than three goals since a five goal outburst against the Islanders back on January 27. They are ranked 22nd in the league right now with an average of 2.47 goals per game. In the 15 games they have played this season the 2nd period has been their strongest in terms of scoring, while the 3rd period has been their worst in terms of goals against.
However the team has played well over the course of their last few games and if Blake Wheeler and Ondrej Pavelec can continue to play at the level they were at on Tuesday against the Sabres, the Hurricanes will be in for quite the challenge.
Another positive for Winnipeg was the play of their penalty kill which turned away all three chances that the Sabres received although that should be taken with a grain of salt considering that Buffalo has the 29th ranked power play in the NHL. The Jets know that a key to their success this season will be minimizing the shorthanded opportunities they hand their opponents.
Carolina has been off for two days following a 3-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens so the team is going to be well prepared for the Jets. They will, however, be without their second leading scorer as Jeff Skinner is out with what is being referenced as a concussion.
Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in goal for the Jets tonight.
Cam Ward is expected to start in goal for the Hurricanes tonight.
Follow @IllegalCurve on Twitter leading up to tonight’s game.
Projected Jets line combinations (subject to change* before game time):
*as of Jets skate this morning
1st: Andrew Ladd- Bryan Little- Blake Wheeler
2nd: Evander Kane- Nikolai Antropov- Alexander Burmistrov
3rd: Eric Tangradi– Olli Jokinen- Kyle Wellwood
4th: James Wright- Jim Slater – Chris Thorburn
Ron Hainsey- Dustin Byfuglien
Zach Bogosian- Mark Stuart
Paul Postma- Grant Clitsome
Projected Hurricanes line combinations (Lines from Michael Smith via morning skate):
1st: Jiri Tlusty-Eric Staal-Alexander Semin
2nd: Drayson Bowman-Jordan Staal-Patrick Dwyer
3rd: Andreas Nodl-Jussi Jokinen-Tim Wallace
4th: Chad LaRose-Riley Nash – Kevin Westgarth.
Justin Faulk – Joe Corvo
Jay Harrison – Ryan Murphy
Michal Jordan – Bobby Sanguinetti.
Carolina Hurricanes: Eric Staal (8 goals, 9 assists, 17 points), Jeff Skinner (7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points), Jordan Staal (2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points)
Winnipeg Jets: Tobias Enstrom (2 goals, 11 assists, 13 points), Andrew Ladd (8 goals, 5 assists, 13 points), Evander Kane (4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points)
Carolina Hurricanes: Tim Brent (lower body), Tim Wallace (undisclosed), Joni Pitkanen (lower body), Tim Gleason (lower body).
Winnipeg Jets: Antti Miettinen (upper body), Al Montoya (lower body), Tobias Enstrom (shoulder)
Who’s Next: The Jets play the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, February 23, 12:00 p.m. CST.
QUICKIES….. Jets Captain Andrew Ladd will play in his 500th career game tonight versus the Carolina Hurricanes, the team that drafted him 4th overall back in 2004…..