JETBLAST: OTTAWA @ WINNIPEG

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JETBLAST

Ottawa Senators (27-25-11) at Winnipeg Jets (30-27-7)  2:00 p.m., MTS Centre, TV: CBC Radio: TSN 1290

The Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets kick off a busy day of hockey on CBC as their match up Saturday afternoon at the MTS Centre will be the first part of a triple header. This will be the teams second and final match up of the season, their first coming January 2nd in Ottawa. On that night the Senators earned the two points with a 4-3 win, scoring two in the first, two in the second, and never trailing in the game. Both teams look a little different now however as the Jets are one of the hottest teams in the league and the Senators have been struggling and have fallen out of a playoff spot. Two teams battling to get back into the playoff picture start a big day of hockey on CBC, Lets Go!!

Senators

The Senators made some big moves at the trade deadline to try and push themselves into the playoff picture. Their biggest move was acquiring Ales Hemsky from the Oilers, Hemsky who has been on the trade block the last few seasons at the deadline finally was sent from Edmonton the Ottawa. Though his best offensive days may be behind him, Hemsky still has plenty of up side and excels at putting the puck in the net. The start of his time in Ottawa however did not go as planned, the Sens were dominated by the Calgary Flames who handed them a 4-1 loss. This was Ottawas 2nd straight loss and fourth of their last five. The Senators are quickly falling out of striking distance and need to turn it around quick if they want to earn a return trip to the post season.

Jets

For the first time in the Paul Maurice era the Jets suffered a second straight loss when the Los Angeles Kings came into the MTS Centre and beat Winnipeg 3-1. It was a costly night for the Jets as aside from their loss, both the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes won games. That pushes the 3 and 2 points behind those teams respectively, as well as each having a game in hand. It was a disastrous night of results for the Jets who are trying to avoid missing the playoffs for the third straight season since the move to Winnipeg. The Kings game however was a step up from the disappointing game against New York on Tuesday. The Jets put up a fight and were right in Thursdays game all the way through, they just could not manage goals. Not necessarily a surprising fact considering the Kings are number one in the league in goals against, and have one of the best goaltenders in the world. The Jets cannot afford to continue losing when all the teams around them are doing the opposite, the Jets need to start winning and need to start immediately.

Keys to the Game

Center ice play: Without Mark Scheifele the Jets placed Michael Frolik at center and the Czech played very well. No one is doubting his defensive play as he was great inside his own blue line, but centering a scoring unit is not a specialty of his. The Jets need 4 lines generating scoring chances and that starts with the middle of the ice.

Keep up: The Jets suffered in the standing over the last couple games however they are not through yet. Winnipeg has 18 games remaining and need to win most of them to keep up with and pass the Stars and Coyotes to get the final playoff spot.

More Offence, again!: Simple enough though Ondrej Pavelec has carried the Jets recently, he needs more support on the other end. Winnipeg is not going to win much only scoring 1 or 2 goals.

Starting Goalies
Ondrej Pavelec (20-23-5) GAA: 2.91 SV% .905
Craig Anderson (20-14-8) GAA: 3.08 SV% .907

Injuries

Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Scheifele WPG, (MCL) out
Wright WPG, (lower body) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 5-3-2
Senators: 4-5-1

Prediction

The Senators will not keep up with the Jets on this night, big 2 points for Winnipeg
Jets 5 Senators 3

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Diehard Winnipeg sports fan. Agree or disagree with something I wrote? Find me on twitter @seantheoilcan and let me know Go Jets Go!

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