The two teams fighting for the top of the Southeast division meet Tuesday night for the first meeting of two this week. Winnipeg currently has a 4 point lead on the Hurricanes however Carolina does hold 3 game in hands making this match up a huge 4 point game. The team that comes out of this week with the advantage has a huge leg up to winning the division, making the game Tuesday a must win.
Carolina enjoyed the longest break of their season before tonights game, enjoying 4 nights off in a row, something very rare in this lockout shortened season. Carolina has spent the majority of this season at the top of the standings by leading the Southeast but with the recent push the Jets have put on Carolina finds themselves on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. How this team reacts in the next week or so will likely be how their season goes. If Carolina can get on a bit of a roll they can easily find themselves back in the drivers seat, however with some losses combined with the suddenly surging Capitals, they may find themselves right out of the playoff picture.
Although not a masterpiece the Winnipeg Jets painted a picture good enough for the home crowd. After being dominated two straight by the Washington Capitals the Jets came out and did just enough to grab two points and open their lead up to 4 in the Southeast. Big for Winnipeg was the play of Dustin Byfuglien, helped of course by the return of Tobi Enstrom. Big Buff looks much more comfortable when he has Enstrom to back him up and cover for him. Byfuglien needs to continue this play because when he can be himself and a little reckless the Jets have a greater chance to win, and this game is more than important.
Energy: Winnipeg played just a night ago while Carolina has enjoyed a nice break. Winnipeg needs to come out hard and play with the Hurricanes despite a little fatigue that may be setting in.
Goaltending: Cam Ward is still out for Carolina while it looks like Coach Noel will continue to ride Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg. Pavelec has to play like a number one and he must be the better goalie in this game.
Power Play: With Tobi Enstrom back to quarterback the power play the Jets have no more excuses for the weak PP%. The Jets need to score on their man advantages to win this game.
Ondrej Pavelec (14-14-2) GAA: 2.81 SV% .902
Dan Ellis (4-5-1) GAA: 2.65 SV% .918
Redmond WPG, (Thigh Laceration) out
Peluso WPG, (Hand) out
Slater WPG, (Upper Body) out
Wright WPG, (Unknow) questionable
Hainsey WPG, (Upper Body) questionable
Ellis CAR, (Hand) questionable
Sanguinetti CAR, (Upper Body) questionable
Faulk CAR, (MCL) out
Corvo CAR, (Lower Body) out
Ward CAR, (MCL) out
LaRose CAR, (Concussion) out
3pt game, Jets get the extra
Jets 3 Hurricanes 2 O.T.