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JNGD.59 Flight Plan: Jets Look For a Purr-fect Win Over Panthers

It feels a bit odd to have a game on Sunday that isn’t an afternoon contest, nor be an early evening affair featured on “Hometown Hockey” … Instead it’s just a regular 7 PM start on the eve of Louis Riel Day as fans get to enjoy some Sunday night hockey against a surprisingly strong Florida Panthers club.

Florida Panthers (26-23-6)
@
Winnipeg Jets (34-15-9)

February 18, 2018 – Puck drop: 7:00 PM CST
Bell MTS Place – Winnipeg, MB.
TV: TSN3 – Radio: TSN 1290

Recently for the Jets…

Blake Wheeler told us all to settle down a bit and not freak out about playoff possibilities, and then the very next game he picked up a pair of goals and the Jets absolutely steam rolled the Colorado Avalanche. The Jets are now 5-2-1 as we head into the ninth game of this home stand. The penalty kill has been successful in 22 of the 24 times the team has been shorthanded during this home stretch which has vaulted the Jets into third overall in the NHL. Wheeler had a three point night, Mark Scheifele had his second three point game in a row. Patrik Laine did Patrik Laine things on the power play. Connor Hellebuyck became just the second goalie in the NHL this season to hit 30 wins. This team is on a roll.

Recently for the Panthers…

The Panthers haven’t been too shabby themselves lately. They scored early and often last night in a 6-3 win over the Calgary Flames which has made them winners of seven of their last eight games with five of those wins coming on the road. The Panthers special teams haven’t really been all that special – 22nd on the power play and 20th on the penalty kill – and outside of their main weapons on offense (Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov) this is a team that struggles to score goals. The return of Roberto Luongo should be a huge boost for a playoff run, although it’s likely the Jets get to look at Manitoba native James Reimer tonight as the Flames saw Luongo last night.

Recently between both teams…

Lest you underestimate the Panthers, keep in mind Florida punked out the Jets to a tune of a 6-4 loss back on December 7. Eric Comrie was in goal for that game and game up five goals. Connor Hellebuyck has a 2-0-0 record though against the Panthers and that is who starts tonight for Winnipeg.

Winnipeg Jets Lines

LW C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR
Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE
Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER
Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT
Bryan Little
BRYAN LITTLE
Jack Roslovic
JACK ROSLOVIC
Patrik Laine
PATRIK LAINE
Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP
Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS
Nicolas Petan
NICOLAS PETAN
Matt Hendricks
MATT HENDRICKS
Joel Armia
JOEL ARMIA
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Josh Morrissey
JOSH MORRISSEY
Tyler Myers
TYLER MYERS
Tobias Enstrom
TOBIAS ENSTROM
Dustin Byfuglien
DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN
Ben Chiarot
BEN CHIAROT
Dmitry Kulikov
DMITRY KULIKOV
GOALIES
Connor Hellebuyck
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK
Eric Comrie
ERIC COMRIE

Florida Panthers Lines

LW C RW
Evgeny Dadonov
EVGENY DADONOV
Aleksander Barkov
ALEKSANDER BARKOV
Nick Bjugstad
NICK BJUGSTAD
Jonathan Huberdeau
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU
Vincent Trocheck
VINCENT TROCHECK
Denis Malgin
DENIS MALGIN
Jamie McGinn
JAMIE MCGINN
Jared McCann
JARED MCCANN
Maxim Mamin
MAXIM MAMIN
Micheal Haley
MICHEAL HALEY
Derek MacKenzie
DEREK MACKENZIE
Colton Sceviour
COLTON SCEVIOUR
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Aaron Ekblad
AARON EKBLAD
Keith Yandle
KEITH YANDLE
Michael Matheson
MICHAEL MATHESON
Mark Pysyk
MARK PYSYK
MacKenzie Weegar
MACKENZIE WEEGAR
Alex Petrovic
ALEX PETROVIC
GOALIES
Roberto Luongo
ROBERTO LUONGO
James Reimer
JAMES REIMER

Gameday Prediction

I’m not gonna lie, I kinda dig the Panthers as a plucky, rag tag collection of players that could have been so much better this season had their GM not completely botched things during the expansion draft. I’ve been rooting for them to make the playoffs, but obviously I would rather not see them gain any ground tonight, and they won’t. Jets win this 4-1.