Winnipeg Jets (10-11-1) at Tampa Bay Lightning (10-12-1)
6:30 p.m., Tampa Bay Times Forum
TV: TSN Jets, Sun Radio: TSN 1290
Tampa Bay and Winnipeg meet for a second time this season tomorrow night. Since the first meeting which the Lightning crushed the Jets by a score of 8-3, the teams have played very similar games and bot have fluttered around near .500. Sitting in 11th and 12th respectively and still only 6 points out of the Southeast leading Carolina Hurricanes, this is a very important game for both teams.
Tampa has one of the most offensively explosive teams in the NHL. Led by the best pure scorer in the game Steven Stamkos the Lightning have the top offense in the game averaging over 3.5 goals per game. They are however in the bottom five goals against as well so it is a high risk high reward kind of game. Tampa is at their best when they are running and gunning, a strategy that has beaten the Jets in the past. If Tampa can turn this game into a track meet they will have a great chance to win.
Winnipeg has played two of their worst game so far this season in succession. The loss to Washington at home, followed by the 4-1 loss to Florida monday night have showcased some very lack luster efforts from the Jets and they have been thoroughly dominated in both games. After a week of filling the net, at least by Jets standards, they have once again struggled to generate chances, and when they have they failed to capitalize and often gave up some chances in transition. This team has to score goals but stay responsible tp their own end or they will continue to slide down the Eastern Conference standings.
Keys to the Game
Play Slow: Winnipeg needs to contain the Lightning and cannot let this game become a track meet. With the immense skill that Tampa has on offense Winnipeg needs to be smart with the puck, take away lanes and not let the Lightning forwards get to the outside.
Stay out of the box: Lecalvalier, Stamkos, St. Louis, when these three players can all get on the ice at the same time it is deadly for the opposing team. Tampa ranks 8th on the power play and torched the Jets with the man advantage in their last meeting. The only way to slow down the Lightning PP is to not give it a chance to speed up.
Get to Lindback: Anders Lindback has been shaky recently and giving up some bad goals. The Jets must get to the net, crash and bang, find the rebounds and fire them in.
Ondrej Pavelec (8-11-1) GAA: 2.93 SV% .897
Anders Lindback (8-5-1) GAA: 3.18 SV% .892
Miettenen WPG, (Lower body) questionable
Enstrom WPG, (Shoulder) out
Redmond WPG, (Thigh Laceration) out
Peluso WPG, (Hand) out
Garon TB, (Lower Body) questionable
Pouliot TB, (Upper Body) out
Malone TB, (Lower Body) out
Ohlund TB, (Knee) out
Last 10 (W-L-OTL)
Lightning offense too much for Jets
Lightning 6 Jets 3