The New Jersey Devils hope the third times a charm in this match up. Winnipeg won each of the first two meeting between the teams, in New Jersey by a score of 4-2 and back in Winnipeg by a 3-1 score. This game is huge in the Eastern Conference standings as New Jersey currently sits 7th, just two points ahead of 9th place Winnipeg and have played an extra game, so this game is very important for both.
In the warm up before the first meeting between these two teams Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur went down with an injury and has not played since. The Devils fortunes have suffered as well as they have gone on a major slide. Since Brodeur went out the Devils have gone 1-5-1 and cannot find the answer. New Jersey needs to recover as the loss of Brodeur cannot result in the loss of this season. Last night the Devils fell to the Carolina Hurricanes 6-3 in a game they were never really in. The goaltending and the defense has not been good enough and the offense is not built to play from behind.
Winnipeg has once again shown themselves to be very a capable road team. Friday night the Jets made it two in a row with a 3-2 overtime victory in Florida. Although not the game Claude Noel will be showing highlights of Winnipeg battled some adversity and walked away with a win despite not playing their best, which is something they will need to be able to do if they hope to play post season hockey. Dustin Byfuglien got the big overtime goal for Winnipeg Friday however his play since returning from injury has left something to be desired. The Jets big D man has not had the speed or offensive presence we are used to seeing from him and he is giving up more defensively on many nights. Winnipeg needs their top defenseman to play like it as he can be the most important player for the Winnipeg Jets.
Keys to the Game
Special Teams: 8 games straight the Jets PK has been perfect, while the power play continues to struggle. One needs to continue and the other needs to change to give the Jets an advantage tonight.
Goaltending: Pavelec was incredible in Florida, while Montoya was great in Tampa, whichever starts in New Jersey must continue that streak.
Get shots: Goaltending has been the main question mark in New Jersey. Without Brodeur the goaltending which has been so solid for so many years in New Jersey has struggled. Winnipeg needs to get to the net, get traffic, and create chances, if they do that they will be rewarded in Newark.
Ondrej Pavelec (9-11-1) GAA: 2.87 SV% .901
Johan Hedberg (3-7-2) GAA: 2.80 SV% .885
Enstrom WPG, (Shoulder) out
Redmond WPG, (Thigh Laceration) out
Peluso WPG, (Hand) out
Zubrus NJD, (Wrist) out
Salvador NJD, (Upper Body) questionable
Tallinder NJD, (Lower Body) questionable
Corrente NJD, (Shoulder) out
Brodeur NJD, (Back) out
Last 10 (W-L-OTL)
New Jersey has shown no reason to think that they will pick up the win
Jets 3 Devils 1