For the second time in under a week these two teams will meet, this time in the noisy confines of the MTS Center in front of a Winnipeg fan based that hasn’t seen their team in almost two weeks and you know it is bound to be loud. In New Jersey Thursday Winnipeg played a very solid road game against a tough opponent earning a 4-2 win. After falling behind 2-1 after the first Winnipeg scored twice in the second and added one in the third to earn the two goal lead. Grant Clitsomes’ second period goal also marked The Jets first power play goal in 20 attempts. After 2 straight losses and 4 of the last 5, New Jersey will be looking to avenge Thursdays loss.
New Jersey has been off since their loss to Winnipeg last Thursday and have received some bad news. Martin Brodeur who pulled himself from Thursdays game after warm up, has been placed on the IR and will be unable to play Thursday night. This means the goaltending falls into the capable hands of the veteran and former Manitoba Moose, Johan Hedberg. Hedberg will be making his second start at the MTS Center since the return of the Jets, his first coming December 3rd last season where he made 16 saves on 19 shots and took a 4-2 loss. Thursday, the Devils did not play their normal game, surrendering many chances to the Jets, which cost them. New Jersey is at its best when they play a tight checking, counter punching defensive game and they will need to play like that if they want to stop the suddenly offensive Jets.
Winnipeg comes home after an amazing road trip winning 4 out of 5 and making everyone forget about the disaster in Philly. Tuesday in New York the Jets battled hard and really earned a win, after a scoreless first period Winnipeg jumped on the Rangers and got 3 in the second and never relinquished the lead. The Jets got offense from unlikely places, Olli Joikenen had two goals while Anthony Peluso, getting more ice time, scored his first two points of his NHL career. Aided by Evander Kane and his 3 point contribution, leap frogging him into first in team scoring, passing Andrew Ladd.
Keys to the Game
Special Teams: New Jersey has been awful on the penalty kill recently, even surrendering a goal to the struggling Jets PP. Obviously this is a game that the Jets could use to continue to break the slump, and any way to create offense against the Devils is important.
Home ice woes?: Winnipeg has been poor at home this year while being decently successful on the road. Totally opposite of last year, but the Jets need to put it all together to make the playoffs.
Be the best Kane: Lately Evander Kane has been the best player on the team, with points in 9 straight he is proving he is the offensive leader of this team and it is exactly what the Jets need. As long as Kane can continue this high calibre of play he gives the Jets a chance to win every night.
Ondrej Pavelec (7-9-1) GAA: 2.98 SV% .899
Johan Hedberg (2-3-1) GAA: 2.65 SV% .900
Miettenen WPG, (Lower body) out
Enstrom WPG, (Shoulder) out
Redmond WPG, (Thigh Laceration) out
Carter NJD, (Upper Body) questionable
Zubrus NJD, (Wrist) out
Corrente NJD, (Shoulder) out
Brodeur NJD, (Back) out
Last 10 (W-L-OTL)
Jets get boost from home crowd, win late
Jets 3 Devils 2