Jets at Hurricanes
Although their offense abandoned them on Monday, the Carolina Hurricanes have been one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL this month. The Hurricanes, who had scored at least three goals in seven straight games before being shut out at Montreal, will be looking to pick things up again on Thursday when they host the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets own the worst penalty kill in the NHL and are 3-7-0 over their last 10 games.
Carolina was missing three key players in Jeff Skinner (upper body) and defensemen Joni Pitkanen (lower body) and Tim Gleason (lower body) in Monday’s 3-0 loss to the Canadiens but could get all three back on Thursday. The Hurricanes are matching their longest homestand this week at two games and have played only five of their first 14 contests on home ice. The Jets are no strangers to travel and opened up a five-game road trip with a 2-1 win at Buffalo on Tuesday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN2 (Winnipeg), FSCR (Carolina)
ABOUT THE JETS (6-8-1): Winnipeg has recorded two goals or fewer in each of its last six games and has not scored a power-play tally in that same stretch, going 0-for-13 with the man-advantage. The Jets received a strong performance from Ondrej Pavelec in Tuesday’s win and killed off all three penalties they faced to mark the third time in the last 11 games that they had held the opposition without a power-play goal. Special teams breakdowns have been the biggest issue for Winnipeg, though Pavelec’s inconsistencies have played a part in the team’s sub-.500 record. Pavelec’s 29 saves Tuesday were his most since Jan. 25 and helped snap a personal four-game losing streak.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (8-5-1): Carolina is just in front of Winnipeg when it comes to penalty kill issues, although the Hurricanes have usually been able to make up for that with their offense. Skinner, who sits second behind captain Eric Staal on the team in scoring, is listed as day-to-day with his upper-body injury. Staal had an 11-game point streak come to an end in Monday’s loss and Cam Ward allowed three third-period goals in the setback. Ward’s current 3.19 goals-against average is his worst mark since his 2005-06 rookie campaign.
1. Ward is 21-10-4 with a 2.96 goals-against average in 36 career games against the current Jets' franchise.
2. Jets D Tobias Enstrom (shoulder) will not play on Thursday and is week-to-week.
3. Carolina C Tim Brent (lower body) did not play Monday and is questionable for Thursday.