Winnipeg heads to Ottawa tomorrow for a matinée Hockey Night in Canada match up. Each team is slumping a little bit, Ottawa has lost 3 of 4 after a very strong start and Winnipeg has lost 4 of their last 5. In their first match up this season on NHL opening day Winnipeg showed one of their worst performances thus far and Ottawa walked to an easy 4-1 win. Eric Karlsson led the Sens with a goal and two assists while Dustin Byfuglien got the only goal for Winnipeg. Each team will be looking to break out of their slumps in Ottawa Saturday afternoon
The Sens visited Carolina Thursday and had the lead twice before letting the Hurricanes comeback and losing in overtime despite firing nearly 50 shots at Canes goalie Cam Ward. The Sens are led by reigning Norris trophy winner Eric Karlsson who can take over games with his speed and great shot. Long time captain Daniel Alfredsson is having a slow season but while playing alongside players like Kyle Turris and Milan Michalek the Sens are still dangerous offensively. On the back-end Craig Anderson has been spectacular in net for Ottawa however he did not practice today so Ben Bishop may get the start in-goal.
Winnipeg turned in another poor performance Thursday dropping a 3-2 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Winnipeg was again hurt by special teams, although getting a shorthanded goal, they also gave one up. The power play was very ineffective and the penalty kill gave up the winning goal with under 5 minutes left in the game. The Jets expect to be without two of their top defenseman again as neither Dustin Byfuglien or Zach Bogosian are expected to play.
Keys to the Game
Ondrej The Giant: Pavelec needs to be better for the Jets to have a chance in this hockey game. He’s coming off a game which saw him give up 3 goals on only 18 shots in the loss to the Leafs. Although you can’t say Pavelec has been bad, he has not been good enough to give this low scoring team a chance.
Young D: Rookie defensemen Paul Postma and Zach Redmond have been logging huge minutes for the Jets. While both have been very effective offensively they have made mistakes defensively and the Jets are giving up to many odd man rushes. Though the offense is important to this scoring challenged team the defence must remain responsible and mistake free.
Offense: The Jets need to score, enough said. Averaging under 3 goals a game and giving up the third most it is clear Winnipeg needs to put more pucks in the net. They need four lines generating chances and putting the puck on net. Thus far they have leaned on their defensemen for scoring but the forwards need to step up to give Winnipeg a chance.
Ondrej Pavelec (3-5-1) GAA: 3.28 SV% .885
Ben Bishop (Expected) (0-1-0) GAA: 5.00 SV% .833
Byfuglien WPG, (Lower Body) Questionable
Bogosian WPG, (Wrist) out
Miettenen WPG, (Upper body) out
Latendress OTT, (Whiplash) out
Spezza OTT, (Back) out
Last 10 (W-L-OTL)
Jets can’t find offense but Pavelec keeps them in it
Sens 3 Jets 2 (OT)