NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 30th
(All times Eastern)
Winnipeg Jets (35-34-8) at Carolina Hurricanes (31-31-15), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Winnipeg Jets open up their final road trip of the
season this evening as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes in a matchup of
clubs on the verge of elimination in the playoff race.
In their first season after relocating from Atlanta, the Jets were in the
thick of the postseason hunt for a good part of the season, but have lost
three straight and five of their past six to fall eight points back of the
eighth seed with only five games to play.
The Hurricanes, six seasons removed from their last Stanley Cup championship,
will sit out the playoffs for a third season in a row as they are a point back
of the Jets with five games left.
Play on the road is the main reason that Winnipeg will sit out the second
season. The Jets are 23-13-4 as the hosting club but only 12-21-4 on the road.
They do begin this four-game swing off a 4-2 loss to the visiting Rangers on
Ondrej Pavelec gave up all four goals on 28 shots, while Spencer Machacek and
Bryan Little scored for Winnipeg, which went 0-for-5 on the power play and
gave up a short-handed goal in the second period while up 2-0.
"Disappointing part of the game for me really was in the power play and our
special teams," said Jets head coach Claude Noel. "I think that's pretty much
how it went. I think the turning point in the game really was the short-handed
goal that we gave up because they didn't have a lot of life."
The Hurricanes will look to finish the season strong and have gone 5-2-0 in
their past seven games. They salvaged the finale of a three-game trip on
Tuesday with a 3-0 win over Toronto, with Cam Ward recording the 21st shutout
of his career to set a new franchise record.
Ward made 32 saves in his fifth shutout of the season, while Jussi Jokinen had
a goal and an assist. Tim Brent and Jay Harrison scored and Tuomo Ruutu
chipped in with two assists.
"We got off to a really good start," Ward said. "In that first period, we
carried the majority of the play. It was a solid 60-minute game for us."
The Hurricanes will look to earn a split of their six-game series with the
Jets. Winnipeg won the first three encounters before Carolina responded with a
pair of wins, one at home and one on the road.
Evander Kane is pacing the Jets with three goals and five points this season,
while Jokinen, Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal all have a pair of goals and two
assists versus Winnipeg this season.
03/30 10:55:23 ET