For the second time in four days these two teams face off in what will once again be a very important inter-divisional match up. Tuesday was an embarrassing performance for the Jets losing 4-1 to a very under man’d team. Florida dominated the Jets in all facets of the game a few nights ago and will attempt to repeat that performance while the Jets try to turn it around and get a little bit of revenge.
The Panther are coming off a terrible 7-1 clubbing at the hands of the Washington Capitals where they were embarrassed and dominated. Friday night will be a rare occasion where the home team is the team that travel will be harder on. While Winnipeg just has a couple of hours from Tampa, the Panthers will be flying in from Washington, so there will not be much of a home ice advantage. The net is the major concern for Florida, since the injury to Jose Theodore the team has ping-ponged between Jacob Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen. Neither could do the job Thursday, Markstrom allowed 2 goals on the same number of shots and Clemmensen gave up 5 after taking over. It is unknown who will get the start Friday but either way one of the two needs to step up, not only to claim the job but to keep this team from ruining the season.
The Jets played the perfect road game last night in Tampa. They played a complete 60 minutes in all three zones and really earned the 2-1 win. Al Montoya played great, after missing ten straight games he came back without missing a beat and without him the Jets may have been in trouble. The rest of the Jets in front of him were nearly as good, slowing the very explosive Lightning offense down to a crawl, and doing enough to win on the other end. Winnipeg will be looking for a little bit of revenge after the terrible performance last time in Florida, and has a chance to climb within to points of the Southeast division leading Hurricanes.
How about that PK?: After starting the year as on of the worst teams killing penalties, all of a sudden they have tightened up their game. They have been perfect on the penalty kill in 7 of their last 8 contests and it has been a key to their success. The bright spot Thursday was the full 2 minute 5 on 3 advantage that the Jets killed.
Pavelec: As always the goaltender is key to this teams success. After getting some much deserved rest Pavelec must return to form and be the Jets best player.
Energy: Tuesday it didn’t look like the Jets even wanted to play in the game. They need to come out, play with speed and throw their bodies around. If the Jets come to play and can play with a sense of urgency they will get the win.
Ondrej Pavelec (8-11-1) GAA: 2.93 SV% .897
Jacob Markstrom (1-3-0) GAA: 2.98 SV% .913
Miettenen WPG, (Lower body) questionable
Enstrom WPG, (Shoulder) out
Redmond WPG, (Thigh Laceration) out
Peluso WPG, (Hand) out
Theodore FLA, (Lower Body) out
Kulikov FLA, (Upper Body) out
Upshall FLA, (Lower Body) questionable
Weaver FLA, (Lower Body) out
Versteeg FLA, (Upper Body) out
Jovanovski FLA, (Knee) out
Caruso FLA, (Broken Arm) out
Bergenheim FLA, (Groin) out
This time I’m sure, Jets dominate Panthers
Jets 4 Panthers 0