Playoff Push #79: Jets kick off three-game road trip against Wild

The Winnipeg Jets remain outside of a playoff position, but that could change on Monday night.

With just four games left in the regular season, the Jets (40-26-12) hit the road to face the Minnesota Wild as both teams look to secure post-season berths.

The Jets are tied with Los Angeles  at 92 points apiece but the Kings hold the final wild-card berth heading into action Monday.

If the Jets win in regulation, they’ll be two points behind the Wild for the first wild-card berth. But there will be a lot riding on Monday’s game for the Wild too, as they can lock up a playoff spot with a win over the Jets.

It should make for a fun night of hockey.

Lines

Lines provided by DailyFaceoff.com

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It didn’t take long for Mathieu Perrault to find his game again since returning to the lineup from an upper-body injury that kept him out for over a month.

Perrault has four assists in three games playing on a line with Adam Lowry and Lee Stempniak.

“I’m starting to feel better and better,” Perrault told the Winnipeg Free Press. “And getting more minutes, too. And trying to create some chemistry with Lows and Stempniak.”

Andrew Ladd leads the team in scoring with 61 points. Blake Wheeler’s 25 goals also leads the Jets.

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Tobias Enstrom will miss Monday’s matchup after taking a hit during the Jets’ 5-4 win over the Canucks on the weekend. Already without top blue-liner Dustin Byfuglien, losing Enstrom at this point of the season would be a big blow to the Jets.

Ben Chariot, fresh off the disabled list with a hand injury, will draw in for Enstrom.

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Ondrej Pavelec is expected to get the call in net once again for the Jets. Pavelec has a 2-2-1 record with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in seven career starts against the Wild.

Minnesota

The Wild (44-26-8) will be hungry for the win as they can clinch a playoff spot with a victory over the Jets.

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The Wild will have captain Mikko Koivu back in the lineup. Koivu missed the Wild’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Red Wings on the weekend with an eye injury.

Zach Parise leads Minnesota in scoring with 32 goals and 60 points.

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Ryan Suter leads all Wild defencemen in scoring this season with two goal and 35 assists.

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It’s no secret who the Wild will go with between the pipes against the Jets. Devan Dubnyk will get his 37th consecutive start. Dubnyk is 35-12-4 with a 2.06 goals against average.

Predictions

Game Day Predictions: The Jets haven’t beat the Wild all season, going 0-2-2. That will change tonight. Jets 3 Wild 2 in overtime.

Obvious Predictions: Looks like it’ll be another busy night for Tyler Myers. With Byfuglien and Enstrom out, expect Myers to eat tons of minutes. You may not see No. 57 get off the ice tonight.

Not So Obvious Predictions: The Wild rank fourth in goals against (192), partly because of Dubnyk. Can the Jets be the first team in the last 10 games to score more than three in a game against one of the league’s top goaltenders? Anything is possible.

Playoff Chances

The Jets have a 49.3% chance of making the playoffs, according to clubsportsstats.com.

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