***** National Hockey League Previews from The Sports Network *****
Sunday, March 16th
(All times Eastern)
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (34-25-7) AT PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (44-18-4), 12:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers certainly played like a team
that is chasing a playoff spot in Saturday's opener of a home-and-home series
with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Flyers hope to pick up another two points against the Metropolitan
Division leaders on Sunday afternoon when the rivals wrap their set in
While the Penguins own a comfortable 16-point edge over the second-place
Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers in the division, the Flyers are a
point back of those two clubs as they battle for one of the three automatic
playoff bids awarded in each division.
Philadelphia is currently holding the second wild card position in the Eastern
Conference by two points over the Detroit Red Wings and has gone 8-2-1 in its
last 11 games.
The Flyers came out fast at home versus the Penguins on Saturday, scoring
twice in the first period. Scott Hartnell had a power-play marker and Matt
Read scored shorthanded.
Steve Mason took care of the rest, stopping all 25 shots fired his way in a
4-0 shutout victory.
Read scored twice, Vincent Lecavalier also tallied and both Claude Giroux and
Sean Couturier finished with two assists as Philadelphia snapped a two-game
"Going into this hockey game, we needed the two points more than they did, and
the guys really went out and earned it," Mason said. "From my standpoint,
everything was just very controlled, from our breakouts to our backchecking,
end zone play; everything just felt very under control the whole game."
Giroux remained red-hot with 21 points in his past 14 games. His 67 points on
the season are tied for seventh in the NHL.
Of course, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby is leading the league with 57 assists
and 88 points, but was held off the scoresheet on Saturday. Marc-Andre Fleury
allowed all four goals on 40 shots as the Penguins' three-game win streak came
to an end.
"They are good at the power play and we gave them that opportunity. They
cashed in on it to get the lead and a short-handed goal against is the two
goals in the first period," said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma. "We
expected them to come hard like that with their forecheck early in the game
and they did. We didn't handle it."
The Penguins went into the game with a long list of injuries, one that
includes defenseman Kris Letang and Paul Martin as well as forward James Neal.
Things got worse when Chris Kunitz was a late scratch due to a leg injury
suffered on Tuesday that also held him out of practice on Thursday.
Kunitz is tied with Crosby for the team lead with 31 goals, but could return
to action today.
Pittsburgh is set to play eight of its next 10 at home, where it is 24-4-2 on
the season. The Pens, though, have lost seven of nine and eight of their last
11 at home to the Flyers, who have won two of the three meetings overall this
Sunday's meeting could feature both backup netminders.
Philadelphia's Ray Emery, recently returned from a lower-body injury, could
make his first start since Feb. 8 and is 5-4-2 with a 2.78 goals against
average versus the Penguins.
Bylsma opted not to pull Fleury from the game on Saturday despite falling
behind 4-0 in the second period and that may have been because he planned on
starting rookie Jeff Zatkoff today.
Zatkoff is 10-3-1 with a 2.70 GAA in 14 games this season and has never faced
VANCOUVER CANUCKS (30-29-10) AT FLORIDA PANTHERS (25-35-7), 3 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Sitting outside the current playoff picture, the
Vancouver Canucks will be forced to try and end their current struggles
against a former teammate as they square off on Sunday afternoon with Roberto
Luongo and the Florida Panthers.
The Canucks are set to face Luongo for the first time since trading him to the
Panthers on March 4 along with Steven Anthony in exchange for goaltender Jacob
Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias. Luongo was in the middle of his eighth
season with Vancouver and had gone 19-16-6 with a 2.38 goals against average
and three shutouts in 42 starts before the deal.
Luongo helped Vancouver to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011 and after splitting
time last season with Cory Schneider, he saw his playing time shared this
campaign with Eddie Lack.
So, the Canucks dealt him to the Panthers, who he starred with early in his
career before getting traded to Vancouver following the 2005-06 campaign.
"I don't know if it'll mean more, but it's going to be weird, for sure,"
Luongo said of facing the Canucks. "I was in that other locker room just a
week and a half ago. It's the first time really I've been traded during the
season. I don't know how I'm going to feel, but it's definitely going to feel
The Canucks don't have time to think about their reunion with Luongo as they
have lost six of their past eight games and have won just three times over the
last 16 contests (3-12-1). That has dropped Vancouver five points back of the
second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Lack made just 17 saves in Friday's 4-3 regulation setback to the Washington
Capitals. Matthias scored his first goal in five games since getting dealt to
the Canucks, while Jordan Schroeder and Nicklas Jensen also scored.
Jensen picked up his first NHL goal in his fourth game this season and sixth
of his career for the 2011 first-round pick.
"We played well. We came away empty. No regulation points. It's a frustrating
one for us because I thought a lot of people did a lot of good things,"
Canucks coach John Tortorella said.
Vancouver played once again without Daniel Sedin due to a strained left
hamstring and announced before the game that leading goal-scorer Ryan Kesler
will be out a few weeks with a right knee injury.
The Canucks have lost 13 of their past 15 on the road and are just 14-18-4 as
the guest. They conclude a four-game road trip on Monday versus the Tampa Bay
Lightning and are slated to give Lack the start today.
The Panthers don't have much chance at a playoff spot this season, but did
halt a three-game skid with Friday's 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Brad
Boyes, Scottie Upshall and Vincent Trocheck all had third-period goals in the
The 20-year-old Trocheck scored into an empty net to give him his first career
Brian Campbell and Quinton Howden also had goals and Jonathan Huberdeau picked
up a pair of assists for the Panthers, while Luongo made 28 saves. That
included stopping all 11 shots fired his way in the third period.
"I came out in the third and wanted to shut the door for the boys and was
happy I got rewarded there with a couple of good goals," Luongo said. "We've
got a young team here. The boys are working hard and we know there is a lot of
work to be done. But guys don't quit. We got some fresh young legs, they skate
The Panthers have won two in a row over the Canucks, besting Luongo and the
Canucks 3-2 in a shootout at Vancouver on Nov. 19. Huberdeau beat his current
teammate for the only goal of the tiebreaker.
Florida is aiming to win three straight versus Vancouver for the first time in
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (36-24-8) AT WASHINGTON CAPITALS (31-27-10), 3 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After a relatively quiet first two games in the NHL,
rookie forward Evgeny Kuznetsov showed last time out why the Washington
Capitals had been long awaiting his debut with the club.
Kuznetsov will try to lead the Capitals to a second straight victory on Sunday
afternoon in a home matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 26th overall pick of the 2010 draft, the 21-year-old Kuznetsov had been
playing in his native Russia in the Kontinental Hockey League before finally
signing an entry-level deal with the Capitals last Saturday.
He jumped right into the lineup for a home-and-home series with the Pittsburgh
Penguins, but Washington lost both games and Kuznetsov was held without a
That changed on Friday when he picked up three assists in a 4-3 win over the
Vancouver Canucks. He factored into each of the Capitals' final three goals,
including Mike Green's game-winner with 9:41 to play.
Kuznetsov cycled behind the net and dropped a pass to Nicklas Backstrom. The
center emerged from behind the net and dished the puck to Green, who stepped
up into the slot to wrist a shot home.
"(Kuznetsov) did a great job battling down the corner and keeping control of
the puck," said Green. "He made a great play to (Backstrom), and I noticed
when (Backstrom) was wheeling the net that he saw me before he even looked up.
That's just the way Nick operates, so I just had to freeze the goalie and get
a good shot."
Alex Ovechkin added his league-leading 45th goal of the season -- and 19th on
the power play -- and both Joel Ward and Tom Wilson added scores for a
Capitals club that had lost five of its previous six.
Jaroslav Halak, in his fourth start since being acquired before the trade
deadline, made 38 saves.
Washington sits three points back of the second wild card spot in the East and
could turn to Halak again today. He is 6-2-3 with a 2.85 goals against average
in his career versus Toronto.
The Maple Leafs are in contention for one of the three automatic playoff bids
in their division, sitting second overall in the Atlantic with 80 points. That
is, however, only one point ahead of both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal
Toronto is 2-1-0 on a five-game road trip and is returning back east following
a three-game tour of California. The Leafs sandwiched wins over Anaheim and
Los Angeles around a setback in San Jose, besting the Kings 3-2 on Thursday.
Los Angeles jumped out to a 2-0 lead before goals by Carl Gunnarsson and Dion
Phaneuf pulled Toronto even. Mason Raymond then scored the winner while
shorthanded in the third period with 5:06 to play.
Jonathan Bernier started the game in net, but left after the first period with
a lower-body injury as he stopped 8-of-10 shots faced. James Reimer, who had
allowed six goals on 48 shots in losing his previous start, turned away all 31
shots he faced over the final two periods.
"I guess for us, we need every point that we can possibly get and we're in
desperation mode, as every team is, and we just found a way to gut it out,"
said Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle. "We gave up a two-goal lead, and we
found a way to get a big goal."
It is unknown how long Bernier will be sidelined, but the Leafs did recall
goaltender Drew MacIntyre from the minors on Saturday. That should lead to
Reimer starting today and he is 2-2-1 with a 2.54 GAA versus the Capitals.
The Leafs and Caps have split the first two of three meetings this season,
with each team winning once at home. Washington has claimed seven of the past
nine as the host in this series.
EDMONTON OILERS (23-36-9) AT CAROLINA HURRICANES (29-29-9), 3 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Edmonton Oilers close out a four-game road trip on
Sunday afternoon as they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Oilers are 1-1-1 on the swing, falling in defeat to the Detroit Red Wings
2-1 in a shootout on Friday.
Ryan Smyth scored in the third period for Edmonton and Viktor Fasth made 22
saves, but yielded the lone shootout tally of the game to Tomas Tatar in the
Taylor Hall had a chance to extend the tiebreaker, but failed in his attempt.
"I wish we would have got a better result. I thought our guys worked hard for
it," said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins.
Eakins will go back to Ben Scrivens in net today, though he is winless in two
previous meetings with the Hurricanes. He has posted a 3.09 goals against
average in those encounters.
In 11 starts since being acquired from the Los Angeles Kings, Scrivens has
gone 5-6-0 with a 2.64 GAA and .929 save percentage.
Edmonton sits last in the Western Conference with 55 points, while Carolina is
failing to keep pace in the East's playoff race. The Hurricanes have lost
eight of their last 11 games and have slipped eight points back of the second
wild card position in the conference.
The 'Canes had a two-game win streak snapped with Saturday's 5-1 setback to
the hosting Boston Bruins. Alexander Semin scored 3:53 into the third period
to pull Carolina to within one, but Boston later put the game away by scoring
twice in a 13-second span.
Semin has four goals and five assists over a seven-game point streak, while
Cam Ward came up with 36 stops in defeat.
"Our best players tonight did not play the way they are capable of," said
Carolina head coach Kirk Muller. "It was early in the game that we had to push
back and we didn't."
Muller may opt to go with Anton Khudobin in net this afternoon to wrap up
games on back-to-back days. Khudobin is 2-0-0 with a 0.86 GAA versus the
Oilers, stopping 40-of-41 shots faced over one start and one relief
The Hurricanes had won two straight over the Oilers before dropping a 5-4
overtime decision in Edmonton on Dec. 10. Jeff Skinner scored a late goal in
the third period as Carolina overcame a 4-1 deficit to force extra time, but
the Oilers' Jordan Eberle won it with a power-play goal 1:48 into overtime.
Ward yielded all five goals on 29 shots faced.
The 'Canes did notch a 7-1 victory the last time the clubs met in Carolina
back on Nov. 9, 2010. Skinner had a goal and two assists in that game, while
Eric Staal had four assists.
SAN JOSE SHARKS (44-17-7) AT NEW YORK RANGERS (36-28-4), 4 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Henrik Lundqvist didn't have one of his better starts
the last time he faced the San Jose Sharks, but if the New York netminder can
find a way to rebound against them on Sunday afternoon he'll earn himself
another Rangers record.
Lundqvist looks to become the franchise's all-time wins leader in a matchup
with the Sharks, who come in having won five straight games.
The Rangers salvaged the finale of a three-game road trip on Friday night with
a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets as Lundqvist settled down after a slow
start. The netminder yielded two goals on the first five shots he faced, but
ended with 30 stops to record his 301st career victory.
Lundqvist matched Mike Richter for the most wins in franchise history as he
has gone 301-192-61 with a 2.27 goals against average and 49 shutouts in his
career since the Rangers picked him in the seventh round of the 2000 draft.
"Extremely proud feeling to be up there with him. What he meant to this
organization for so many years and what he's done, just being up there is a
huge honor," said Lundqvist of his 301st win.
"It also means I've been lucky. I've played for a long time here behind a
bunch of great players and coaches who helped and supported me throughout the
years. (The number) feels really good right now, but I hope I have a lot more
to give here."
Carl Hagelin was one of those players to support Lundqvist on Friday, picking
up the first hat trick of his career. Chris Kreider also had a goal and
defenseman Kevin Klein notched two assists.
Hagelin's hat trick came after he had scored just one goal in his previous 13
games, while Kreider has four three tallies in his past four contests.
"We knew (the Jets) were going to come hard," Lundqvist said. "We got a great
start with the first goal, but then they pushed back a little bit and they had
really good speed. We expected it, but after that second goal, it's about how
you respond, and we did it in the right way."
The Rangers, who will head back out for three straight on the road after this
game, are tied for second in the Metropolitan Division with the Columbus Blue
Jackets, who have a game in hand. Both clubs are just one point ahead of the
Lundqvist figures to get the start today at home and is 2-2-0 with a 3.08 GAA
in his career versus the Sharks. However, he did not make it out of the second
period when the clubs first met in San Jose back on Oct. 8, yielding four
goals on 26 shots.
Still, the Rangers are 7-3-0 with a tie in their last 11 meetings with the
Sharks and have won three of the last four encounters at home.
San Jose comes in on its longest win streak since claiming six straight
victories from Jan. 14-25. The Sharks opened a three-game road trip with a win
over the Blue Jackets on Thursday and followed up the next night with a 4-3
decision over the New York Islanders.
Antti Niemi made 35 saves and Martin Havlat had the game-winning goal. Matt
Nieto, Joe Thornton and Jason Demers also scored and James Sheppard finished
with two assists.
"When you win two in a row, two days in a row, it's special," Thornton said.
"We're a confident group right now. We're relying on each other, we're working
extremely hard for each other. We feel if we play our game we can beat
anybody, and that's a good feeling to have."
San Jose's current run has it two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for the top
spot in the Pacific Division.
Niemi made 18 saves to best the Rangers earlier this season and is 1-1-1
against them lifetime with a 2.92 GAA.
COLORADO AVALANCHE (43-19-5) AT OTTAWA SENATORS (28-25-13), 5 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators will try to recover from a heart-
breaking loss by snapping a long losing streak to Colorado as they play host
to the Avalanche on Sunday evening.
The Senators led the Montreal Canadiens by three goals with under four minutes
to play on Saturday, but saw the Habs score three times in the final 3:22 of
regulation. That included a game-tying goal by David Desharnais with just 0.3
ticks left on the clock.
Montreal then won it 5-4 in overtime as Francis Bouillon potted a goal 1:26
into the bonus frame.
On the game-winner, Max Pacioretty fired a shot from low in the right circle.
Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner made the save and felt the puck was covered up.
However, the referee didn't blow the play dead and Pacioretty dislodged the
puck and Bouillon put it into the open net.
Despite not getting the favorable whistle in overtime, the Senators know it
was their play late in the third period that led to the setback.
"The final 3 1/2 minutes we tightened up, panicked. We didn't get over their
red line," Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean said.
Lehner stopped 43 shots for the Senators, who had the tables turned after
erasing a 3-0 third-period deficit to Nashville on Monday before losing in
Ottawa, though, has still lost six of its past eight and is six points back of
a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Jason Spezza and Clarke MacArthur both had a goal and an assist on Saturday,
with Spezza having amassed four goals and 16 points over his last 10 games.
Ales Hemsky added his first tally in four games since being acquired from the
Edmonton Oilers and he also has six assists since the trade.
The Senators will try to rebound by beating the Avalanche for the first time
since Dec. 12, 2005 in Colorado. They have lost six in a row in this series
since and were bested 7-1 in the most recent encounter in Ottawa on Oct. 13,
Colorado, which has won three in a row in Ottawa, notched a 4-3 overtime
victory against the visiting Senators on Jan. 8. Paul Stastny scored the tying
goal with 2:20 left in the third period and assisted on Tyson Barrie's game-
winner 33 seconds into overtime.
Gabriel Landeskog collected three assists for the Avs, while Spezza, MacArthur
and Kyle Turris scored for the Senators.
Stastny is doubtful for this game as he has been out since March 8 due to back
Colorado sits second overall in the Central Division with 91 points, one up on
the Chicago Blackhawks and eight back of the first-place St. Louis Blues.
The Avs had won two straight and six of seven going into Friday night's
encounter with the Anaheim Ducks. They lost a wild 6-4 game as the clubs
combined to score nine goals in the second period. However, only three of
those were potted by Colorado.
Jamie McGinn supplied two goals, while John Mitchell and Landeskog also
scored. Mitchell had signed a three-year extension before the game worth $5.4
Ryan O'Reilly added two helpers for the Avalanche.
"I have never seen a period like that. We were not supporting each other and
our play did not just work out. There was a lot of intensity out there," said
Landeskog about the frantic second period.
Semyon Varlamov allowed five goals and Jean-Sebastian Giguere entered the game
in the second to turn aside 8-of-9 shots in relief.
MONTREAL CANADIENS (36-25-7) AT BUFFALO SABRES (19-40-8), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens look to build off a thrilling
victory Sunday night as they visit the struggling Buffalo Sabres.
The Canadiens had been outscored 13-3 over a three-game losing streak heading
into Saturday's matchup with the Ottawa Senators and were in danger of
matching their longest skid of the season.
Montreal trailed by three goals in the third period, but scored three times in
the final 3:22 of the frame. The Canadiens then won it 5-4 on Francis
Bouillon's goal 1:26 into overtime.
Lars Eller started the comeback bid and Brian Gionta scored with 2:04 in the
frame. David Desharnais then beat the buzzer with just 0.3 seconds on the
"The second period was not our period, but after Eller's goal, we believed we
could come back to win that game," Bouillon said.
On the game-winner, Max Pacioretty fired a shot from low in the right circle.
Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner made the save and felt the puck was covered up.
However, the referee didn't blow the play dead and Pacioretty dislodged the
puck and Bouillon put it into the open net.
P.K. Subban assisted on all three of Montreal's third-period goals, while
Carey Price made 30 saves in his return to the Canadiens' crease.
It was Price's first action since helping Canada win its second straight gold
medal at last month's Winter Olympics. He missed Montreal's first eight games
following the NHL's resumption of play with a lower-body injury he aggravated
Price did not travel with the team to Buffalo in order to get some extra rest,
meaning Peter Budaj is likely to start tonight. He is 4-1-2 with a 2.18 goals
against average in his career versus the Sabres.
Montreal's thrilling win kept it tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning for third
place in the Atlantic Division with 79 points. That is just one point back of
the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Sabres come in having lost five straight and six of their last seven
games. They have not scored more than two goals in any of those setbacks and
were bested 4-1 by the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Tyler Ennis supplied the lone marker for the Sabres, while Jhonas Enroth
allowed three goals on 37 shots in defeat.
Ennis has scored in two straight games and has tallied six goals in his past
nine games. Drew Stafford, meanwhile, did not score for the first time in four
games, but did assist on Ennis' goal.
Interim coach Ted Nolan would like to see the rest of his offense produce.
"We can't expect (Ennis) to score all the goals every game and expect to win,"
Nolan said. "Drew Stafford's the same thing. He's playing well. We need some
other people to contribute once in awhile."
Michal Neuvirth could get the start tonight for the Sabres and it would be his
third since being acquired from the Washington Capitals. He lost his first two
games with Buffalo despite giving up just five goals on 98 shots faced and he
came up with 51 stops versus Carolina on Thursday.
Neuvirth is 5-3-0 with a 2.25 GAA in his career versus the Habs, who have won
both of their meetings with the Sabres this season and three in a row in this
DETROIT RED WINGS (30-23-13) AT CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (38-15-14), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks hope to avoid a third straight
loss on Sunday night as they battle former division rival Detroit for the
second time since the Red Wings' shifted to the Eastern Conference.
The Blackhawks have lost consecutive 3-2 games versus the Colorado Avalanche
and Nashville, with the recent setback to the Predators coming at home on
Friday. Jonathan Toews and Peter Regin had the goals for Chicago, while Corey
Crawford yielded three goals on 29 shots faced.
The 'Hawks never led in the game, falling behind 2-0 in the first period
before Toews lit the lamp with just 14 seconds on the clock in the opening
frame. His tally came 55 seconds after Nashville's second goal.
"It was tough to watch the last part of the first period," Chicago head coach
Joel Quenneville said. "I thought that was as bad as we probably played for
any stretch all year."
Toews' 26th goal of the season gave him seven goals and eight points in his
past six games, but couldn't help the Blackhawks make up ground in the Central
Division race. Chicago sits third in the standings, one point back of the Avs.
Detroit used to battle Chicago in the Central Division, but moved to the
Eastern Conference prior to this season under realignment. The clubs squared
off for the first time this season Jan. 22 in Detroit, with the Red Wings
managing a 5-4 shootout win to halt a seven-game slide to the Blackhawks.
Chicago has won three in a row and five of its past seven at home versus
Detroit and could have forward Marian Hossa back in the lineup tonight. Hossa
has missed the last five games with an upper-body injury, but practiced on
Friday and is targeting either tonight or Tuesday for a return.
The Red Wings are coming off Friday's 2-1 shootout decision over the Edmonton
Oilers. Riley Sheahan scored in regulation and Tomas Tatar had the lone goal
in the tiebreaker, lifting the puck over Edmonton netminder Viktor Fasth in
the third round.
Jimmy Howard then came up with a stop on Taylor Hall to secure the victory for
a Red Wings club that had lost four of five coming in and is two points back
of the second wild card spot in the East.
"We had to work for everything," said Howard, who finished with 21 saves.
"They're a dangerous team right now when they are playing as loose as they
are. They're just wheeling-and-dealing out there and they're a tough team to
play against. They have a lot of skilled forwards and they made us work for
everything here tonight."
Howard, who had missed Detroit's previous game with the flu, snapped a
personal 0-2-1 drought and is 4-7-5 with a 2.79 goals against average in his
career versus the Blackhawks.
Crawford is 11-2-3 with a 1.94 GAA lifetime when facing off against the Red
Wings, who have lost three in a row on the road.
DALLAS STARS (32-23-11) AT WINNIPEG JETS (30-29-9), 8 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Stars failed to hold a two-goal lead last
time out and will aim to rebound on Sunday night when they visit the fading
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Stars got second-period goals from
Jamie Benn, Antoine Roussel and Erik Cole on Friday versus the Calgary Flames
to take a 3-1 edge.
However, the Flames scored twice in the third period and then got the game-
winning shootout tally from Corban Knight in the fourth round of a 4-3 victory
over the Stars.
Tim Thomas made 27 saves in defeat, one that dropped Dallas to 8-2-3 in its
past 13 games as the club is tied with the Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild
card spot in the Western Conference. However, the Stars have two games in
"I thought on both goals we got on the wrong side of the man," said Dallas
head coach Lindy Ruff. "The penalty-killing goal, we got on the wrong side.
The tying goal, we got on the wrong side. We had some problems defensively
tonight and we spent more time in our zone than I thought we needed to. We
lost some battles that ended up making the difference in the game."
Benn did score a goal for the fourth game in a row and also has five assists
over a six-game point streak, while Tyler Seguin set new career highs with his
39th assist and 68th point this season.
Thomas may start again tonight and it will be his third for Dallas since being
acquired from the Florida Panthers. He has jumped into action due to No. 1
goaltender Kari Lehtonen suffering a concussion last Saturday.
Lehtonen practiced this past Saturday, but it is unknown when he will return.
Thomas is 8-3-2 with a 2.74 goals against average in his career versus the
Jets, who are six points back of the Stars in the standings.
Winnipeg made a solid push for a playoff spot after Paul Maurice took over as
head coach on Jan. 12, but is in the midst of a season-long 0-3-3 skid. The
Jets also lost their starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec on Friday in a 4-2
setback to the New York Rangers.
Pavelec exited after the first period with a lower-body injury having stopped
6-of-8 shots faced. He is expected to miss at least the next two games.
Al Montoya made 13 saves versus the Rangers, while Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew
Ladd scored in the game's first 3:26 for the Jets. Ladd lit the lamp in his
600th NHL game.
"It's always tough. I thought we had our fair share of chances there in the
offensive zone. But, you know, at the end of the day they got the two points
and they played well," said Winnipeg defenseman Zach Bogosian.
The Jets recalled goaltender Michael Hutchinson from the American Hockey
League to serve as the backup to Montoya, who has made just four starts since
late January. He is 10-5-3 with a 2.20 GAA in 21 games (16 starts) this season
and has never before started against the Stars. He has faced them twice before
Winnipeg defenseman Chris Thorburn is also expected to miss at least the next
two games with a lower-body injury suffered versus the Rangers.
The Jets have lost both of their home games against the Stars this season,
though they did notch a 2-1 shootout victory at Dallas in between.
03/16 10:57:08 ET