|(48-21-7) 103 points||(35-33-8) 76 points|
1st in East, 1st in Atlantic
10th in East, 3rd in Southeast
The Rangers are one of the best teams in hockey and provide the biggest challenge for the Jets. A win will potentially eliminate the Jets from the playoffs mathematically if Buffalo wins their next game as well. The Rangers are trying to hold off the surging Pittsburgh Penguins to keep their 1st seed in the East they have held for the majority of the year.
Marian Gaborik has benefited from the off-season signing of Brad Richards and has returned to form being among the top scorers in the league. The Rangers had a 3-2 win over Minnesota last night and come into tonights match up 3 points up on the Penguins.
The Jets playoff hopes are virtually gone but mathematically they are still in it but Buffalo’s magic number is 1.5. Technically the Jets hold the tie breaker over the Sabres so a win and a single point over Buffalo’s final 5 game and considering they are riding a 5 game winning streak that may be a foregone conclusion. That being said a win will keep the Jets in it to fight another day and thankfully for them they may be catching the Rangers at the right time.
New York has faltered a bit as of late and they are coming into the game on a back-to-back. No one has struggled more in back-to-backs then Winnipeg but they have been very effective when welcoming a team on the second game of a back-to-back into MTS Centre having only lost twice to teams doing that this year.
The Jets are now not only on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs but are also on the verge of falling the basement in the Southeast with both Tampa Bay and Carolina on their heels only 1 point back of the Jets.
Keys to Victory
Home Cooking. The Jets need to do what they’ve done all year at home, play above their heads and win games.
Score first. The Jets continue to dominate at home after scoring first and every game the first goal will be huge.
Play Tight. They’ve been sloppy as of late and Ondrej Pavelec put it best. Playing that way will get then killed.
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. The road has struggled but at home they are an amazing 25%
Nik Antropov (Lower Body) – Questionable
Eric Fehr (Upper Body) – Questionable
Chris Thorburn (Upper Body) – Out Indefinitely
Jets – Ondrej Pavelec (28-27-7, 2.86, .907) [Unconfirmed]
Rangers – Henrik Ludqvist (36-16-5, 1.93, .932) [Unconfirmed]
The Jets need this win but the Rangers are too good and too strong of a team and the fans will go home disappointed.
Winnipeg Jets 2 – New York Rangers 3