When: Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m. CST
Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Records: Winnipeg Jets (19-11-7, 45 points, 5th in West), New York Islanders (24-11-1, 49 points, 3rd in East)
Television/Radio: MSG +, TSN3/ TSN 1290 Radio
On the Horizon: Saturday, January 3rd at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs (6:00 p.m. CST).
Last Game: 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild
Winnipeg Jets: Andrew Ladd (12 goals, 15 assists, 27 points), Blake Wheeler (11 goals, 16 assists, 27 points), Bryan Little (14 goals, 12 assists, 26 points), Dustin Byfuglien (8 goals, 12 assists, 20 points), Michael Frolik (8 goals, 11 assists, 19 points)
New York Islanders: Kyle Okposo (8 goals, 24 assists, 32 points), John Tavares (15 goals, 17 assists, 32 points), Brock Nelson (14 goals, 13 assists, 27 points), Ryan Strome (6 goals, 17 assists, 23 points), Frans Nielsen (6 goals, 12 assists, 18 points)
Game Day Notes:
– The Jets are 9-2-4 in their last 15 games.
– Jets Home Record: 8-7-3.
– The Jets have scored the first goal 14 out of the last 18 games.
– The Islanders are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games.
– Tonight is the start of a seven game road trip for the Islanders. The road trip will last two weeks. (Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers).
– This is the second of two meetings between the Jets and Islanders this year. The Jets defeated the Islanders 4-3 back on October 28th.
– The Islanders average 2.94/goals game, 5th in the NHL.
– Ondrej Pavelec will start in net for the Jets tonight. It will be Pavelec’s first start since December 21st against Philadelphia. In 25 games this year, Pavelec has a record of 10-8-5 with a .917 Save Percentage and 2.27 Goals Against Average
– Red Hot: Jets forward Michael Frolik has three goals and six assists in his last 9 games.
– Jets forward Blake Wheeler enters tonight’s game on a three game points streak (two goals, two assists)
– Jaroslav Halak is expected to start in net for the Islanders tonight. In 25 games this season, Halak has a record of 19-6-0, 2.64 Goals Against Average and .901 Save Percentage with three shutouts.
– According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, forward Michael Grabner (lower body) and defenseman Matt Carkner (back) are travelling with the team on the trip but won’t play tonight.
– Islanders forward Matt Martin leads the NHL with 164 hits. Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 144 hits.
– Milestone Watch: Jets defenseman Paul Postma needs to play 5 more games to reach 100 career games played.
– From Patrick Williams of NHL.com: The Islanders are 16-2-1 in one goal games. The Islanders have given up a three goal lead in the third period in the past two games.
– Defenseman Johnny Boychuk leads all Islanders in ice time, averaging 22:09 of ice time per game.
– Islanders Top Face-off Guy: John Tavares (50.8%)
– Jets Top Face-off Guy: Jim Slater (56.2%)
– Who’s Under the Microscope for New York: Travis Hamonic. The St.Malo Manitoba native always attracts attention when he is back in his home province. Hamonic anchors an underrated Islanders blueline.
– Who’s Under the Microscope for Winnipeg: Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec’s last start was not his best so he will be looking for a solid bounce back game.
Special Teams Breakdown:
– New York Islanders PP (18.5%, 16th in NHL), New York Islanders PK (75.0%, 29th in NHL)
– Winnipeg PP (16.5%, 21st in NHL), Winnipeg PK (85.3%, 7th in NHL)
Projected Winnipeg Jets Line Combinations:
Andrew Ladd- Bryan Little- Blake Wheeler
Mathieu Perreault- Mark Scheifele- Michael Frolik
Chris Thorburn- Adam Lowry-Matt Halischuk
TJ Galiardi- Jim Slater- Anthony Peluso
Ben Chiarot- Dustin Byfuglien
Adam Pardy- Paul Postma
Jay Harrison- Grant Clitsome
Healthy Scratches: Julien Brouillette, Patrice Cormier
Projected New York Islanders Line Combinations:
Josh Bailey- John Tavares- Kyle Okposo
Mikhail Grabovski- Frans Nielsen- Nikolay Kulemin
Anders Lee- Brock Nelson- Ryan Strome
Matt Martin- Casey Cizikas- Cal Clutterbuck
Calvin de Haan- Travis Hamonic
Nick Leddy- Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Hickey- Lubomir Visnovsky
Healthy Scratches: Eric Boulton, Matt Donovan
New York Islanders: Brian Strait (personal), Michael Grabner (lower body), Matt Carkner (back)
Winnipeg Jets: Tobias Enstrom (lower body, IR), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Jacob Trouba (upper body, IR), Mark Stuart (lower body), Evander Kane (lower body)