Winnipeg and Boston meet for the second time this season in an early evening match up at the MTS Center Sunday. Both teams are coming off losses and will be looking to turn things around. In their first match Winnipeg kept up with the cup contenders forcing them into a shoot out before falling by a 2-1 score. This was one of the few games in which the Jets opened the scoring when Chris Thorburn got his only goal of the year but Brad Marchand tied it for the Bruins and Rask and Pavelec took over after that. It will be the same two goaltenders facing off Sunday trying to help earn their team a victory.
If Winnipeg thought it would get easier after the tough loss to Pittsburgh they thought wrong. Though a much more defensive team than the Pens the Boston Bruins come in to the MTS center 3 points out of first in the Eastern Conference. Boston is led by a very strong back-end, Tuukka Rask has taken to the starting role extraordinarily and playing behind Zdeno Chara, rookie Dougie Hamilton and the rest of a solid core of D-men doesn’t hurt him either. Boston is coming in off two straight losses most recently a disappointing 4-2 game to Buffalo. Boston will be looking to get back on track after their only 2 regulation losses.
Winnipeg played a relatively good home game in Fridays loss to the Penguins and can walk away pretty proud of their effort. Their problem remains in the offensive zone, Winnipeg has managed only 3 goals in their last two games, all from Andrew Ladd and two of the three came in the final minutes with an extra attacker. Although playing tight defense, chances were hard to come by and not going to get any easier against the Bruins one of the NHLs top defensive teams. Winnipeg will need to take advantage of power play opportunities and the few mistakes the Bruins will make if they want a chance to win. Winnipeg will however be without Tobi Enstrom who suffered a shoulder injury early against the Pens
Keys to the Game
Evander Kane: Simple, Kane has been in the news a lot recently for a lot of stuff not hockey related. He needs to get back to what he does best and score some goals.
Special Teams: The Jets have struggled at times on the power play, but with the recent returns of Zach Bogosian and Dustin Byfuglien they need to pick it up and help out the Jet offence. On the other end the PK has remained shaky and they cannot afford to give up goals.
Score Early: Winnipeg has fallen behind too often early this season. Winnipeg needs to get the first goal and play with the lead. It also won’t hurt getting the crowd into the game early and giving them a chance to really get going.
Ondrej Pavelec (3-7-1) GAA: 3.15 SV% .890
Tuukka Rask (6-1-2) GAA: 2.07 SV% .919
Miettenen WPG, (Upper body) out
Montoya WPG, (Lower Body) out
Enstrom WPG, (Shoulder) out
Savard BOS, (Post Concussion Syndrome) out
Last 10 (W-L-OTL)
B’s rough up Jets
Bruins 4 Jets 1