JETBLAST: PITTSBURGH @ WINNIPEG

JETBLAST - Pittsburgh Penguins
JETBLAST - Winnipeg Jets

JETBLAST

WINNIPEG (5-6-1) at PITTSBURGH (9-5-0)

6:00 p.m., MTS Centre

TV: CBC, RDS, ROOT Radio: TSN 1290, 105.9 The X

The Pittsburgh Penguins visit the MTS Centre for the second time this season, and although their first visit was based around the storyline of Sidney Crosbys debut in Winnipeg, this game will be all business. In late January on their first visit the Pens jumped out to a quick 2-0 nothing lead on the back of Sidney Crosby first period goals. Winnipeg showed some fight back however and scored 4 straight over the next two periods and walked away with the W. Pittsburgh will be looking to avenge one of their few home losses while the Jets will try to pull to .500 hundred on the season in this important match up.

Penguins

Pittsburgh was a Stanley Cup favorite headed into the year and have proved they deserve those expectations early. The Offense as expected has been high-powered led by Crosby, Malkin and Neal, can change a game on just one shift. The back-end has been solid and both goaltenders have played well. To compete with the Pittsburgh Penguins you must play a full 60 minute complete game. Pittsburgh last played Wednesday beating the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on the strength of a 3 point game from Sidney Crosby.

Jets

For the first time this year it looks like coach Claude Noel will have his full defensive line-up available to him. Zach Bogosian has announced he is ready to play and will be a game time decision, which will be an enormous boost to the Jets struggling back-end. Another addition to the Jets lineup comes in the form of newly acquired winger Eric Tangradi who Winnipeg got in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday afternoon and is expected to get the roster spot of Alex Ponikarovsky who was traded to the Devils later that day. In Tangradi the Jets add some toughness, a little experience and a guy who can finish around the net. In Tuesdays loss to the Flyers nothing seemed to go right for Winnipeg as they failed to generate many chances and were controlled pretty handily by Philadelphia, if the Jets want to change the result, they must show better tonight.

Keys to the Game

Pavelec: With all Montoya suffering a lower body injury in the second period of Winnipegs loss to Philadelphia the ball is back in Ondrej Pavelecs hands healthy or not. After missing the last two games with the flu the Jets will need him to be sharp especially against the sharp shooters of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last time the teams faced off Pavelec was the main reason the Jets came away with a win, they will need the same effort in this match up.

Discipline: Winnipeg took some bad penalties in their loss to Philadelphia Tuesday. This can not happen against the Penguins as you will pay. When the Pens can put all their offensive talent on the ice at one time they are near unstoppable and with the struggles of Winnipegs penalty kill, penalties are not a chance they want to take.

Sid the kid: Sidney Crosby is a key in any game he plays. He can turn around games at any moment. A pass, an end to end rush, a quick shot, give Crosby any kind of room and the puck has a good chance to end up in your net. The Jets have to put the body on Sid early and often and take away his space before he can gain any kind of momentum.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (3-6-1) GAA: 3.28 SV% .886
Marc Andre Fleury (6-3-0) GAA: 2.41 SV% .909

Injuries

Bogosian WPG, (Wrist) questionable
Miettenen WPG, (Upper body) out
Montoya WPG, (Lower Body) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 5-5-0 Penguins: 7-3-0

Prediction

Jets can’t handle Pens skill
Penguins 6 Jets 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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