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Game Day Set-Up: Jets @ Panthers

Setting up tonight’s Jets and Panthers game with projected lines, starting goalies, games notes and more.

Jets vs. Panthers

When: Thursday, March 12, 2015

Time: 6:30 p.m. CST

Where: BB & T Center, Sunrise, Florida

Records: Winnipeg Jets (33-22-12, 78 points, 7th in West), Florida Panthers (29-23-14, 72 points, 9th in East)

Television/Radio: TSN3, FS-F/ TSN 1290 Radio

On the Horizon: Saturday, March 14th on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning (6:00 p.m. CST)

Last Game: 5-4 loss to the St.Louis Blues

Top Scorers:

Winnipeg Jets: Andrew Ladd (23 goals, 32 assists, 55 points), Bryan Little (24 goals, 27 assists, 51 points), Blake Wheeler (19 goals, 31 assists, 50 points), Dustin Byfuglien (15 goals, 27 assists, 42 points), Mark Scheifele (10 goals, 28 assists, 38 points)

Florida Panthers: Nick Bjugstad (23 goals, 17 assists, 40 points), Jonathan Huberdeau (11 goals, 28 assists, 39 points), Jussi Jokinen (6 goals, 30 assists, 36 points), Aaron Ekblad (11 goals, 23 assists, 34 points), Brad Boyes (11 goals, 21 assists, 32 points)

Game Day Notes:

– Tonight is the third game of a four game road trip for Winnipeg. The Jets lost to St.Louis 5-4 on Tuesday night and are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games.

– Jets Season Road Record: 16-11-7

– The Jets have a record of 7-4-2 against teams in the Atlantic Division this year

– The Jets have a record of 23-1-6 when leading after two periods.

– The Jets have a record of 0-18-4 when trailing after two periods.

– The Jets have a record of 20-12-6 when they outshoot their opponent.

– The Jets have scored 8 shorthanded goals this year (Tied for 3rd in the NHL). Blake Wheeler and Michael Frolik each have three shorthanded goals.

– Florida’s Season Home Record: 15-10-7

– The Panthers won their last game 4-3 over the New York Islanders last Saturday night and are 4-4-2 in their last 10.

– Florida trails Boston by six points for the last wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. Florida has 16 games left in the regular season (including tonight) with three of those games coming against the Bruins.

– The last time these two teams played was January 13 at MTS Centre with the Jets winning by a score of 8-2. Mathieu Perreault had four goals in that game.

– As per Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg SunMichael Hutchinson is expected to start in goal for the Jets tonight. In 34 games this season, Hutchinson has a record of 20-8-5 with a .915 save percentage, two shutouts and 2.39 Goals Against Average. This will be Hutchinson’s 8th start in a row. Hutchinson was pulled last game against St.Louis after four goals on seven shots.

– According to Ken Wiebe, Bryan Little (upper body) skated in a non-contact jersey on Thursday but he will not play tonight.

– According to George Richards of the Miami Herald, Dan Ellis is expected to start in net for the Panthers tonight. It will be Ellis’s third straight start in net. In two games since being called up from the San Antonio Rampage (AHL), the 34-year-old Ellis has a record of 1-0-1 with a .900 save percentage and 2.77 Goals Against Average.

– According to George Richards, Dave Bolland will be back in the line-up tonight after missing the last eight games with an upper body injury.

Aaron Ekblad will return to the line-up tonight after missing the last game with the flu. The 19-year-old rookie defenseman has 11 goals and 23 assists in 65 games this season.

– Red Hot for the Jets: Michael Frolik is on a seven game points streak (five goals, two assists).

– Also Red Hot for the Jets: Tyler Myers is on a four game points streak (one goal, three assists)

– Red Hot for the Panthers: Brandon Pirri has four goals in the last five games

– Ice Cold: Jim Slater has no points in the last 12 games.

– Milestone Watch: Bryan Little needs four more assists to reach 200 career assists.

– Milestone Watch Part 2: Michael Frolik needs to play three more games to reach 500 career regular season games played.

– The Panthers average 2.36 goals for/game, 25th in the NHL. The Jets average 2.70 goals for/game, 17th in the NHL.

– The Panthers average 2.70 goals against/game, 20th in the NHL. The Jets average 2.63 goals against/game, 16th in the NHL.

– Defenseman Brian Campbell leads all Panthers in ice time, averaging 23:42 of ice time per game.

– Panthers Top Face-off Guy: Derek MacKenzie (52.4%)

– Jets Top Face-off Guy: Jim Slater (57.6%)

Special Teams Breakdown:

– Florida PP (15.5%, 27th in NHL), Florida PK (79.6%, 24th in NHL)

– Winnipeg PP (18.0%, 17th in NHL), Winnipeg PK (81.0%, 19th in NHL)

Projected Winnipeg Jets Line Combinations:

Andrew Ladd- Michael Frolik- Drew Stafford
Jiri Tlusty- Mark Scheifele- Blake Wheeler
Chris Thorburn- Adam Lowry- Lee Stempniak
Eric O’Dell- Jim Slater- Anthony Peluso

Tobias Enstrom- Tyler Myers
Mark Stuart- Jacob Trouba
Jay Harrison- Adam Pardy

Michael Hutchinson
Ondrej Pavelec

Healthy Scratches: Paul Postma, TJ Galiardi

Projected Florida Panthers Line Combinations:

Jussi Jokinen- Nick Bjugstad- Brad Boyes
Jonathan Huberdeau- Aleksander Barkov- Jaromir Jagr
Brandon Pirri- Vincent Trocheck –  Jimmy Hayes
Derek MacKenzie- Dave Bolland- Shawn Thornton

Brian Campbell- Aaron Ekblad
Willie Mitchell- Erik Gudbranson
Dmitry Kulikov- Steve Kampfer

Dan Ellis
Sam Brittain

Healthy Scratches: Scottie Upshall, Alex Petrovic

Injury Report:

Florida Panthers: Roberto Luongo (shoulder), Tomas Kopecky (illness), Al Montoya (groin)

Winnipeg JetsGrant Clitsome (back surgery, indefinitely), Matt Halischuk (lower body, Injured Reserve), Mathieu Perreault (IR, lower body), Ben Chiarot (surgery, IR), Dustin Byfuglien (upper body), Bryan Little (undisclosed).