JETBLAST: TAMPA BAY @ WINNIPEG

JETBLAST - Tampa Bay Lightning
JETBLAST - Winnipeg Jets

JETBLAST

Tampa Bay Lightning (13-17-1) at Winnipeg Jets (16-14-2)

7:00 p.m., MTS Centre

TV: TSN Jets, Radio: TSN 1290, Sun Radio

The third game this season of this inter divisional rivalry will go tonight at the MTS Centre. With neither team playing their best hockey of late both will be looking to get back on track and in the tight Southeast division if any team can string a few wins together they could find themselves at the top of the standings. The first two game between the teams this season were split, most recently Winnipeg won a tough fought 2-1 decision March 7th.

Lightning

Tampa Bay, although remaining one of the powerhouses of the league offensively have been a huge disappointment this season. Led by the best pure scorer in the game today, Steven Stamkos, Tampa has been filling the net, however their own net has been the biggest issue. The Lightning have not been able to keep the puck out of their net, and once in their zone the Lightnings coverage has been awful, leading to too many good chances against. Despite their issues the Lightning are still only 3 wins behind the Jets, and one hot run can get them right back in it. A win over the Jets Sunday night may just kick-start that run.

Jets

Simply put Winnipeg has been blowing it recently. Playing back to back home games against the struggling Washington Capitals, Winnipeg was dominated in both games in their own building. These games however must be put out of mind by the Jets and start Sunday anew. Due to some help from other teams Winnipeg still find themselves at the top of the Southeast and if they get back on track they can stay there. There are few if any positives to take out of the two Washington games so the Jets must just focus on getting back to playing their game. A big help comes in the form of the imminent return of Tobi Enstrom. Enstrom is the calming force of the defensive corps not to mention leading them offensively this season as well. Getting him back should be a huge boost to the Jets.

Keys to the Game

Contain Stamkos: The best scorer in the game has been good against the Jets in their short history and is the key to the Lightning offense. His one timer can be deadly, especially on the power play so the Jets have to be aware of his position at all times.

Capitalize: The Jets could only manage one goal in two games against the Caps. However Tampa Bay is not as solid defensively and has a tendency to turn the puck over. The Jets need to find their offensive stroke and bury the chances they have.

Byfuglien: Buff has not been good for the Jets as of late. His offensive spark has disappeared and defensively he has been very poor. Byfuglien sets the tone for this team on many nights and he must lead by example on the ice.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (13-14-2) GAA: 2.84 SV% .902
Mathieu Garon (3-8-0) GAA: 2.79 SV% .910

Injuries

Redmond WPG, (Thigh Laceration) out
Peluso WPG, (Hand) out
Slater WPG, (Upper Body) out
Wright WPG, (Unknow) questionable

Lindback TB, (Ankle) out
Malone TB, (Shoulder) out
Lecavalier TB, (Lower Body) out
Ohlund TB, (Knee) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 6-3-1
Lightning: 4-6-0

Prediction

Jets bounce back
Jets 5 Lightning 3

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Diehard Winnipeg sports fan. Agree or disagree with something I wrote? Find me on twitter @seantheoilcan and let me know Go Jets Go!