The Winnipeg Jets have picked up six points through the first
four stops of a season-high six-game road trip.
They would appear to have another favorable matchup against
their former Southeast Division rivals.
The Jets look to stay hot as they visit the woeful Florida
Panthers, who try to avoid a fourth consecutive loss Thursday
Winnipeg (13-12-4) has won three of four on its trek after
beating the New York Rangers 5-2 on Monday. Olli Jokinen led the
way with two goals and an assist while Devin Setoguchi added one of
John Albert also scored in his NHL debut and Chris Thorburn and
Jacob Trouba had two assists apiece.
“This was a really great win,” Jokinen said. “We played another
solid road game. I’m very glad to get the two goals and see Albert
get his first goal on his first shot. I was telling him about a guy
back home who scored on his first seven shots, so he’s got a ways
After posting 12 goals in going 2-5-1 in their previous eight
road games, the Jets have scored 12 on this trip.
“We’ve played pretty good. I think our team has, especially
(Monday) night against the Rangers, managed the game a lot better,”
coach Claude Noel said. “Our players were confident, and I think
that we have been pretty much for this trip.
“We’ve been looking forward to this trip and we’ve played with
some decent enthusiasm.”
The Jets now face a familiar foe in the Panthers, against whom
they have gone 12-5-2 dating to February 2010. While Florida’s 19
points are the second-fewest in the NHL, Noel isn’t taking
Thursday’s showdown lightly.
“They can find a way to win games,” he said. “It’s a situation
where we don’t want to underestimate, we want to make sure that
we’re engaged and ready to play.”
The Panthers (7-16-5), averaging 2.1 goals, have been outscored
14-5 during a three-game losing streak. Jonathan Huberdeau and
Brian Campbell gave Florida an early 2-0 lead Tuesday against
Ottawa before Tim Thomas allowed four unanswered goals down the
“It’s frustrating,” Campbell told the league’s official website.
“It’s been very frustrating. I feel like we’re close, but we still
make those major mistakes that cost us all the time, and they don’t
seem to be leaving our game. They seem the same amount every night
we play. It sums it up.”
Thomas, who made a season-high 41 saves, is 1-4-1 with a 3.34
goals-against average in the last six games. He went 6-0-1 with a
2.23 GAA in his last seven meetings versus the Winnipeg franchise
while with Boston.
Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who made 35 saves against the
Rangers, is 2-1-0 with a 1.68 GAA in his three starts of the road
trip. He has gone 5-4-1 away from home while compiling a 2.16 GAA,
nearly a full goal lower than his 3.06 mark in Winnipeg. He is
10-4-1 in 16 career matchups against the Panthers.
Bryan Little, leading the Jets with 26 points, has four goals
and four assists in his last eight against Florida.
Evander Kane has seven goals and four assists during a nine-game
stretch in the series, but he is expected to miss a second
consecutive contest with lower-body injury.