The Winnipeg Jets are in a three-game hole heading into Game 4 of their first-round series against the Anaheim Ducks.
Win and they get to fight another day. Lose and it’ll be a quick playoff exit for these Jets, who made their first playoff appearance since relocating from Atlanta in 2011.
While coming back from a 3-0 deficit seems like a daunting task, the Jets are staying upbeat before Wednesday night’s puck drop.
“You look at the big picture and it might seem overwhelming,” winger Blake Wheeler told the Winnipeg Free Press. “But that’s one thing about our team, we’ve been able to focus on one game all year and pour everything we have into it. That’s the one thing that brings me confidence and excitement about the game, it is just one game.”
It is one game — and one the Jets must win in order to stay alive.
Let’s break down Game 4.
Lines provided by DailyFaceoff.com.
Captain Andrew Ladd fed off the crowd’s energy at MTS Centre in Game 3. Ladd landed a game-high 12 hits but was held off the scoresheet once again. Ladd, who led the team in scoring this season, has no points and is minus-2 through the first three playoff games.
Adam Lowry has a goal and two assists heading into Game 4.
Frustration set in for Dustin Byfuglien during his media scrum on Tuesday afternoon. The blue-liner responded with, “As long as we stick together as a team, we’ll be all right” to three straight questions as he channeled his inner Marshawn Lynch.
If you missed it, here it is.
Through the first three games of the series, Byfuglien has also been held pointless and has a minus-3 rating.
Once again, you can’t blame Ondrej Pavelec for the third straight loss, although he should have stopped Cam Fowler’s goal in the first period. The others were poor defensive mishaps by the Jets. Pavelec has surrendered 11 goals and has a 3.61 goals-against average with a .893 save percentage.
The Jets have had no luck stopping Corey Perry in this series. Perry has three goals and two assists heading into action on Tuesday. Even the MTS Centre crowd calling him Katy Perry wasn’t enough to throw the all-star off his game.
Tomas Fleischmann will play his second straight game as fourth-line centre Chris Wagner is out with an injury.
The Ducks’ defence got into the scoring in Game 3. Fowler scored a key goal to tie the game in the first and Francois Beauchemin’s point shot in OT was deflected by Rickard Rackell to secure the victory for the Ducks.
Many were concerned with the Ducks’ goaltending situation. But Frederik Andersen has erased any doubts. Andersen has made 97 saves and boasts a 2.27 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.
Game 4 Prediction: The Jets are looking to become the fifth team in NHL history to come back from 3-0 playoff series deficits, but they have to take it one game at a time. Jets 5 Ducks 3
Obvious Prediction: If the Jets have any chance of sending this series back to Anaheim for Game 5, they’ll need offensive production from Ladd and Byfuglien. No goals through three games just isn’t going to cut it.
Not So Obvious Prediction: The teams broke the century mark for his throwing a combined 105 in Game 3. Can this series get any nastier? We’ll see.
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