The Winnipeg Jets welcome the San Jose Sharks to the MTS Centre tonight, as they look to keep from losing their third consecutive game.
This will be the second meeting of the season between the Jets and Sharks. Their first meeting came just ten days ago in San Jose, where the Jets came away with a 4-1 win. Drew Stafford, Matthieu Perreault, Nik Ehlers and Joel Armia provided the goals for the Jets, with Blake Wheeler recording two assists. Brent Burns scored for the Sharks.
The Jets are coming off a tough 4-2 loss against the Buffalo Sabres. While the Jets have lost their last two games, they have played well enough to win both of them but have just fell short.
They’ve been particularly strong on their own ice as of late, going 5-2-0 in their last seven home games. With eight of their next nine games at home, the Jets have a good opportunity to get back into the playoff hunt. However, they need to start winning now.
The Sharks have been up and down just like the Jets lately. They are 5-4-1 in their last ten games, but are coming into tonight winning their last two. The just went through a 5-4 win against the Calgary Flames last night.
Oddly enough, the Sharks have been a vastly superior team on the road than at home. They are 14-6-2 on the road this season and just 6-12-0 at home.
Courtesy of Daily Faceoff.
Winnipeg Jets (19-20-3)
Mark Schiefele remains out for the Jets. Head coach Paul Maurice says it will likely be another five or six days before Schiefele resumes skating.
Blake Wheeler (1 goal, 3 assists) and Drew Stafford (3 goals, 1 assist) lead the Jets forwards with four points each in the last five games. Stafford and Matthieu Perreault lead all Jets forwards with three goals each in the last five games.
Paul Postma has been assigned to Manitoba on a conditioning stint, so the Jets should expect him back fairly soon.
Tyler Myers continues his string of strong offensive play. He leads all Jets defensemen with four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in the last five games.
Hellebuyck is the confirmed starter for tonight. Despite stopping 48 of 52 shots (.923 save percentage), he finds himself having lost two consecutive games. He is 6-2-0 with a 1.99 GAA and a .935 save percentage on home ice this season.
San Jose Sharks (20-18-2)
Tommy Wingels was involved in a nasty collision with his own teammate early in the game last night against the Calgary Flames. He left the game and did not return. He is questionable for tonight.
Joe Thornton leads all Sharks forwards in points over the last five games with seven (2 goals, 5 assists). Joe Pavelski is right behind him with five points in the last five (3 goals, 2 assists).
Brent Burns looks to build on a seven-game point streak. During that streak, he has six goals and five assists.
Justin Braun and Marc-Edouard Vlasic each have four assists in their last five games.
Martin Jones played last night against the Flames, where he was very busy stopping 31 of 35 shots in a 5-4 win. So, backup Alex Stalock could get the start tonight. Stalock is 2-8-0 with a 2.97 GAA and a .893 save percentage so far this season.
Game Day Prediction: Jets take advantage of the Sharks playing back to back. Jets win 3-2.
Obvious Prediction: Jets won’t want to lose two in a row at home. They’ll come out flying trying to get the first goal.
Not so Obvious Prediction: Hellebuyck is coming off a bit of an average game by his standards that he set. He’s been good at rebounding from those types of games. Hellebuyck pitches a shutout or one-goal game tonight.