Winnipeg and Florida meet for the second time this season Tuesday night at the MTS center. Winnipeg will be looking to change the result as the Panthers dominated Winnipeg, snapping a five game losing streak, last Thursday in Florida. The Panthers won the game 6-3 on the strength of 5 third period goals and a dominating performance on the power play. This game will have a different feel however as the MTS center always adds a little jump to the Jets’ skates.
Florida comes into Winnipeg on a two game winning streak. After beating Winnipeg Thursday, Florida then went into Buffalo and beat the Sabres 4-3. Florida needs to go on a bit of a run here to try and get back into the hunt to protect their divisional championship from last season. After struggling for goals at the start of the season the Panthers seem to have gotten a jump thanks to a couple players returning from injury, most notably Kris Versteeg. Florida now has 10 goals in their last two and will look to continue that trend in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg cannot wait to get back on home ice after a disastrous road trip which saw them go 0-3, give up 18 goals, and have their penalty kill thoroughly dominated. The Jets have given up at least 2 power play goals in their last 3 and really need to pick it up in that area of the game to bounce back. Winnipeg will once again be without Dustin Byfuglien who will miss his third straight due to an undisclosed injury. The rest of the defensive core has done a good job replacing his offensive production but has struggled in their own end and the lack of that really big body has hurt them in front of their own net. Winnipeg needs a full effort from the whole roster both defensively and offensively if they want to turn it around.
Keys to the Game
Get the First One: Winnipeg has fallen behind consistently and will need a stronger start to beat Florida Tuesday. Not only does this put huge pressure on the visitors but it will get that loud home crowd rocking, which can change the game.
Special Teams: The Jets have to be happy with their powerplay percentage, however the team would like to see some more consistency and pressure on the power play. On the other end the penalty kill has been nothing short of awful. With the worst PK% in the league, Winnipeg cannot afford to give Florida the chances with the extra men.
Versteeg: Kris Versteeg has been a plague for the Jets since their move to Winnipeg. Versteeg has been a major part of every game these two teams have played and has found his name on the score sheet in nearly all meetings. The way he plays will be a huge indicator on how this game will go.
Ondrej Pavelec (2-4-1) GAA: 3.56SV% .888
Jose Theodore (3-4-0) GAA: 3.32 SV%: .896
Bogosian WPG, (Wrist) out
Miettenen WPG, (Upper body) out
Byfuglien WPG, (Leg) out
Upshall FLA, (Ankle) out
Jovanoski FLA, (Knee) out
Bergenheim FLA, (Groin) out
Last 10 (W-L-OTL)
Home crowd wills Jets to a victory
Jets 4 Panthers 2