Following their 7-3 explosion over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, the Winnipeg Jets are set to face off against the 20-11-2 Carolina Hurricanes. Coming into tonight’s game, the Hurricanes have won four of their previous five games and have allowed just a single goal over their last two contests.
Going from up 2-1 to 6-1 in rapid fashion vs the Flyers this afternoon, the @NHLJets record the 2nd fastest occurrence of 4 goals (4 minutes, 17 seconds) in franchise history. Fastest was 3:50 on November 18, 2017 vs the Devils
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) December 15, 2019
As for Winnipeg, their team is attempting to build off their dominating second period against Philadelphia. During that game, the Jets were given a five-minute powerplay and produced four goals in just over four minutes. Since the Hurricanes have allowed the fifth-fewest number of goals per game (2.61) this season, it could be difficult for the Jets to replicate that same success tonight.
1) Low Scoring From Jets
Along with allowing the fifth-fewest amount of goals per game, both Hurricanes goalies have generated a sub-3.00 GAA and a plus-.900 SV% so far this season. Specifically, Petr Mrazek has been outstanding in each of his previous three starts. The 27-year-old has produced a .937 SV% and a 1.67 GAA over those last three starts.
While his overall numbers aren’t top-ten in the league, Mrazek has recently been playing his best hockey of the season. The Hurricanes have also surrendered the fourth-fewest number of shots on net per game (28.9) this season. Despite Winnipeg creating seven goals during their latest game, their team will likely struggle to create similar success against Carolina tonight.
2) Another Long Night in Defensive Zone
So far this season, the Jets have spent a lot of time defending within their own zone. Through 33 games, Winnipeg is tied for fourth regarding the highest number of shots on net per game (32.7). The Jets have also given up 30 shots or more in four of their last five games as well.
Coming into this game, Carolina has created the second-highest offensive zone FOW% (55.2%) throughout the entire league. In addition, the Hurricanes have also recorded the second-best neutral zone FOW% (50.7%) this season as well. So, the Jets will likely once again rely on their goaltender to make spectacular saves, preventing their team from having to play ‘catch-up hockey” all game long.
3) Quiet Performance From PP
Overall, the Jets’ power-play unit hasn’t performed up to their high expectations, as they own the 19th-best conversion rate (17.6%) in the league. While Winnipeg did convert on three of their five powerplay opportunities against the Flyers, their unit is expected to struggle mightily against the Hurricanes.
Entering tonight’s game, Carolina’s penalty-killing unit has generated the second-highest conversion rate (86.5%) through 33 games this season. The Hurricanes’ penalty kill has also performed even better on the road this season, as they have produced the second-best conversion rate (88.4%) in that category as well.
Following an extremely physical first 40 minutes, the Jets will trail the Hurricanes 2-1 to begin the third period. With just three minutes left, Blake Wheeler will score his tenth goal of the season, tying the game at 2-2. During three-on-three overtime, Mark Scheifele skates alongside Patrick Laine on a two-on-one rush, with the Finland-native sending the game-winning goal into the back of the net.