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Game Day Preview: Jets @ Hurricanes

Both the Jets and Canes sit with 20 points (although the Jets have 2 games in-hand) and in a three way tie for 3rd in the southeast. Tonight will be a critical game for both teams and the first meeting since the Jets won 5-3 at the MTS Centre on October 22nd.

WPGCAR

When: Friday, November 25, 2011

Time: 6:00 p.m. CST

Where: RBC Center, Raleigh, North Carolina

Records: Winnipeg (8-9-4), Carolina (8-11-4)

Television/Radio: TSN-JETS,FS-CR (HD)/ TSN 1290 Radio

The Story: It may have been Thanksgiving in the United States of America yesterday, but the Winnipeg Jets enter tonight’s road game against the Carolina Hurricanes hungry for a win.

The Jets have little interest in Black Friday or shopping or much else for that matter as they are focused solely on the task at hand in Raleigh and looking to rebound from Wednesday’s disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals. It can be argued that the Jets were lucky to escape the American capital with the point that they received as the Jets were badly outshot (37-25) and were kept alive only by a late goal and the masterful play of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who made his 13th consecutive start.

It would be an oversight if we didn’t give the Jets credit for showing resiliency against the Caps as struggling center Bryan Little scored the tying goal (his 5th of the season) with less than 8 minutes to play in the third period on a great feed from Blake Wheeler (one goal, 10 assists). However, old habits crept back into the Jets game as turnovers and bad penalties (four minor penalties, including two to Mark Stuart) led to a sloppy performance for the visiting team.

The Jets will meet a Carolina Hurricanes team that is beginning to show signs of life. Despite being 14th in the Eastern Conference (20 points, same as Jets, but they’ve played two more games) the Hurricanes have played better as of late, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 on Monday night and earning a point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

Oddly, the Hurricanes Captain and best player, Eric Staal has still not found his offensive rhythm and has only 10 points in 21 games this season, way off his usual pace (Staal had 76 points last season).

Chris Mason is expected to get the start for the Jets tonight which would be his first appearance since way back on October 27th versus the Philadelphia Flyers when Mason came in to relieve Ondrej Pavelec.

The offensive leaders for the Carolina Hurricanes are Jeff Skinner (nine goals, 12 assists, 21 points), Jussi Jokinen (four goals, 11 assists, 15 points) and Chad LaRose (six goals, 8 points, 14 points).

The offensive leaders for the Winnipeg Jets are Kyle Wellwood (seven goals, 10 assists, 17 points), Nikolai Antropov (four goals, 10 assists, 14 points) and Dustin Byfuglien (four goals, 10 assists, 14 points).

After tonight’s game against the Hurricanes, the Jets next game will be against the 2011’12 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, tomorrow, Saturday, November 26th (6:00 p.m. CST, CBC, TSN 1290). The Jets will then return home for a five-game homestand starting on Tuesday, November 29th against the Ottawa Senators.

Tonight’s Potential Lines (From Brian Munz of TSN Radio):

Expected Jets Lines:

Ladd-Antropov-Wellwood
Kane-Little-Wheeler
Glass-Slater-Thorburn
Burmistrov-Stapleton-Fehr

Stuart-Byfuglien
Bogosian-Oduya
Hainsey/Kulda-Flood

Expected Hurricanes Lines:

Skinner-Staal-Ruutu
Ponikarovsky-Jokinen-LaRose
Tlusty-Brandon Sutter-Dwyer
Brett Sutter-Brent-Stewart

Gleason-Faulk
Allen-McBain
Kaberle-Joslin

NOTES….. It was announced late Thursday by the NHL that Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian would not be suspended for his hit on Washington Capitals forward Cody Eakin…..

Papers Update:

Scout's Analysis: How the Winnipeg Jets should approach trade deadline.

https://illegalcurve.com/winnipeg-jets-morning-papers-3756/

Winnipeg Jets coach Rick Bowness gives last player health update before All-Star break

https://illegalcurve.com/winnipeg-jets-coach-rick-bowness-gives-last-health-update-before-all-star-break/

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