JETBLAST: Game Day Preview Mar. 18/12 Hurricanes at Jets

(28-29-15) 71 points (34-29-8) 76 points

12th in East, 4th in Southeast

0th in East, 3rd in Southeast

Hurricanes

The Hurricanes are more or less out of the playoff picture but sit only 5 back of the Jets and 7 back of Washington for 8th. They’ve played much better as of late and head into this back-to-back game after a 5-3 comeback win over Minnesota. Caroline is 3-6-3 in the second game of the back-to-back game while they have gone 5-3-2 over their last 10 games their opponent tonight has also gone 5-3-2 while winning 4 straight on home ice.

The Canes will be without leading goal scorer Jeff Skinner who will be sitting out his second game of a two game suspension after kicking an opponent. With the “ruthless” Winnipeg crowd fresh off their “Crosby’s Better” chant directed at Alexander Ovechkin; It’s likely better that he will be in the press box instead of on the ice and in the line of fire.

This will be the last time Carolina visits Winnipeg this year, but will host the Jets for one final game at the end of the month. The season series is 1-3-0 and they’ve yet to face Jets starter Ondrej Pavelec.

Jets

The Jets stepped it up on Friday night and gutted out an important 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals to pull them within two points. While the Jets will try to even the mark with hopes of a Capitals loss in Chicago tonight and a win over the Hurricanes.

This is the last game of a 3 game home stand for Winnipeg, they have only 3 game at home after tonight and 7 road games and to make the playoffs they will have to go a minimum of 6-3-1 to overtake Washington for the 8th seed.

The stars for Winnipeg have been hot as of late and they will need to stay hot or the rest of the year. Blake Wheeler has been a point per game player since breaking out of his early season slump and has climbed into the top 30 scorers with 60 points on the year. After scoring his first goal at home this season Eric Fehr fell awkwardly last game and despite returning to finish the game will likely miss Sunday’s contest. The Jets will likely dress Mark Flood as a seventh defenseman unless Zach Bogosian is ready to return to action.

Keys to Victory

Don’t overlook. The Jets looked past the Hurricanes once this season and it cost them two points that could already have them tied for 8th. There are tough road games ahead for the Jets but they must remain on the task at hand and take care of business.

Score first. The Jets continue to dominate at home after scoring first and every game the first goal will be huge.

High Intensity. The Jets are at their best when they are skating hard and hitting everything that moves. They need to bring the heat and make the Canes wonder when it’ll stop.

Draw penalties. Winnipeg’s big statistical advantage is on the power play so they need to exploit it for all it’s worth and convert on their chances.

Injuries

Zach Bogosian (Wrist) – Questionable
Eric Fehr (Upper Body) – Doubtful
Chris Thorburn (Upper Body) – Out indefinitely

Starting Goalies

Jets – Ondrej Pavelec (26-22-7, 2.76, .911) [Unconfirmed]
Hurricanes – Cam Ward (26-21-12, 2.77, .913) [Unconfirmed]

Prediction

The Jets have dominated teams at home and have only lost once in overtime (Florida) to a team coming into town on the second game of the back to back. The Hurricanes were in Minnesota yesterday so this one we’ve got to favor the odds and give the Jets the two points.

Winnipeg Jets 3 – Carolina Hurricanes 0

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Jeff Stevenson is a co-founder of winnipegwhiteout.com and co-host of the popular Jets Hockey Podcast. He grew up in Winnipeg, MB and became very passionate about sports, hockey and the Jets. Now Jeff is proud and honored to help bring news and information about the Winnipeg Jets to fans around the world.

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