JETBLAST: Game Day Preview Mar. 20/12 Jets at Penguins

(44-21-6) 94 points (34-30-8) 76 points

4th in East, 2nd in Atlantic

10th in East, 3rd in Southeast

Penguins

The Penguins are hot, despite an overtime loss against Philadelphia on Sunday the Pens are still the hottest team in the NHL and the return of Sidney Crosby has only made them even deadlier. They welcome a Winnipeg team that has won just once on the road and have beaten them 2 out of the 3 previous games.

Evgeni Malkin has had an MVP like season and now that Crosby has returned teams will have to decide which player they want their best defensive line against. Kris Letang also recently returned to the line up and was a +5 in the win over the New York Rangers. With everybody healthy at the same time the Penguins are arguably the best team in the NHL.

Jets

The Jets blew a chance to move into a tie with 8th place Washington Capitals on Sunday. Thanks to a Detroit win/loss the Jets have a chance to pull even/keep pace with a rare road win. The loss at home makes their road to the post season a tough one and one that will require road wins. There’s no better team to prove that you can win on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins. A win tonight will help silence the doubters that the Jets don’t have what it takes to win on the road and make the playoffs.

It looks as though Zach Bogosian will avoid suspension on his hit last game against the Hurricanes. The bad news is Eric Fehr and Nik Antropov are doubtful and another call up from St. John’s may be required. Antti Mietinen finally got his first goal as a Jet and liked doing it so much he added a second. Spencer Michalek looked great as he picked up his first NHL point with a beauty passing play that set up Mietinen’s second.

Keys to Victory

Don’t get overwhelmed. It’s a daunting task to beat the Penguins but taking it one step at a time and one shift at a time will be key to defeating them.

Score first. The Jets need to get on the Pens early and take the Pittsburgh crowd out of it.

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 Pens wonder when it’ll stop.

Get the power play going. The Power play has stalled and they need to get it going again especially on the road.

Injuries

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

Starting Goalies

Jets – Ondrej Pavelec (27-24-7, 2.78, .910) [Unconfirmed]
Penguins – Marc Andre Fleury (39-14-4, 2.26, .916) [Unconfirmed]

Prediction

The Jets shouldn’t stand a chance in this one, so naturally they will find a way to win it.

Winnipeg Jets 4 – Pittsburgh Penguins 2

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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.