The last meeting between these two teams as division rivals takes place Tuesday night at the MTS Centre when the Winnipeg Jets host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Winnipeg has won two of the three match ups this season the last of which was a 3-2 win on March 24th. Winnipeg and Tampa come into this game from two completely different perspectives. The Jets are still struggling to earn a right to play in the post season, while the Lightning have been in the role of spoilers for the last couple weeks.
The Lightning have had a year to forget so far this season. Nothing has gone well for the Lightning as it will be another year without playoffs and another rebuilding off season with a new coach. As has been the Lightnings M.O. the last couple of years this is a high powered offensive team that has problems keeping the puck out of their net. Led by Steven Stamkos, who is tied for first in the league with Alexander Ovechkin for most goals, this team can score and score quick. There is plenty of offensive ability and the Jets must play a responsible defensive game if they hope to get a W.
Getting wins is huge for the Jets. Still fighting for the last spot in the East as well as the top spot in the Southeast the Jets have not received much help from other teams. The three teams the Jets are chasing, The Washington Capitals at the top of the Southeast and the 7th and 8th place New York Islanders and New York Rangers are a combined 24-3-4 in their last 31 games so the Jets cannot afford any set backs. However the Jets received more bad news as earlier this week they were told that Tobi Enstrom will be out for the immediate future and is considered week to week. The loss of Enstrom is huge for the Jets but it opens a door for Grant Clitsome to play with Dustin Byfuglien and get top 4 minutes. The Jets D core must be solid and responsible. If they can avoid giving up odd man rushes it will go a long way to winning the game they so desperately need.
Steven Stamkos: Simply put he is the best pure scorer in the game today and if you can stop him you boost your chances of stopping the Lighting.
Counter Punch: The Lightning are very strong offensively but can be prone to turnovers and counter attacks. When they get the chance Winnipeg must attack with speed and go right at the Tampa defense.
Keep it Simple: The Jets are best when they play simple. Don’t overpass or overplay, put the puck on the net, bang and play ugly.
Ondrej Pavelec (18-18-2) GAA: 2.75 SV% .906
Ben Bishop(10-8-0) GAA: 2.68 SV% .920
Redmond WPG, (Thigh Laceration) out
Peluso WPG, (Hand) out
Slater WPG, (Upper Body) out
Antropov WPG, (Lower Body) out
Enstyom WPG, (Mid-Body) out
Pyatt TB, (upper body) Probable
Lindback TB, (Ankle) out
Ohlund TB, (Knee) out
Jets continue strong play, overwhelm Lightning
Jets 5 Lightning 2
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