Jets-Devils Preview

The Winnipeg Jets will have to try to start a new road winning

streak in what has been a difficult venue for them against a tough

goaltender to beat.

The franchise has dropped five straight road games against the

New Jersey Devils, who are expected to have Martin Brodeur back in

goal Sunday.

Winnipeg (7-9-1) missed a chance for its first four-game road

win streak in three seasons Saturday with a 5-3 loss to

Philadelphia, where the team had won its previous six visits.

Now the Jets will try for their first victory at the Prudential

Center since a 4-2 win as the Atlanta Thrashers on Oct. 16, 2009.

They are 0-4-1 in their last five visits to Newark, going 0 for 8

on the power play in those games.

The Devils are 6-1-2 at home this season.

Brodeur will likely start after coach Pete DeBoer decided to

give backup Johan Hedberg his fifth start in Saturday’s 5-1 loss at

Washington.

Extra rest should benefit the 40-year-old Brodeur, who is 5-1-1

with a 1.84 goals-against average in his last seven outings. He has

posted a 1.57 GAA in winning his last five starts against the

Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise.

New Jersey (10-4-4) went 3-1-0 against Winnipeg last season,

with one victory coming in overtime. Patrik Elias scored in each

game and had a team-high six points in the season series for the

Devils.

Jets winger Evander Kane enters this meeting on a six-game point

streak overall. Kane has scored twice on Brodeur, including his

second career tally in his fourth NHL game.

His first-period goal Saturday was part of a strong start in

which Winnipeg recorded 12 of the game’s first 13 shots. The Jets

built a 3-1 second-period lead before faltering.

“It’s very disappointing, you have a 3-1 lead in the second, 3-2

in the third and you’ve got to be able to lock those down,” Kane

said. “You can’t sit back, no matter how many goals you’re up in

the NHL, because teams can come back and will come back, if you

relax and just try to play defense.”

The Jets went 0 for 4 on the power play, and have come up empty

on 21 chances over their last eight games. Their penalty kill

allowed three goals on six opportunities, with the unit regressing

to a league-worst 67.9 percent after not yielding a power-play goal

in back-to-back games for the first time this season in the

previous two contests.

“I thought we played a pretty hard game, if you take the special

teams out of the scenario,” coach Claude Noel said. “The problem

is, is that you can’t. The way we’d been working on the penalty

killing, the success we’ve had on the last few games, it was

disappointing to see it turn that way.”

Devils center Ryan Carter is expected to miss his third straight

game with an upper-body injury suffered in Monday’s 2-1 shootout

loss to Ottawa.

Winger Alexei Ponikarovsky, though, should be in the lineup to

face a Jets team that signed him as a free agent last summer but

traded him back to the Devils on Feb. 13 after just 12 games.

New Jersey’s next game after this one is Thursday’s visit to

Winnipeg. Before the rematch, the Jets will stay in the area and

complete a five-game trip Tuesday against the New York Rangers.