(SportsNetwork.com) – The suddenly surging Winnipeg Jets will try to stay hot
when they visit the struggling New Jersey Devils in Thursday’s clash at
The Jets began the season with a win at Arizona before dropping their next
four in regulation. Paul Maurice’s club has rebounded nicely, however, picking
up victories in three of its next four and Winnipeg enters tonight’s test
riding a two-game win streak.
Winnipeg ended a five-game homestand with Sunday’s overtime win against
Colorado, then kicked off a stretch of four straight on the road with
Tuesday’s 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders.
Andrew Ladd scored twice, including the go-ahead goal early in the third
period, to help the Jets outlast the Isles at Nassau Coliseum. Paul Postma and
Jacob Trouba also lit the lamp for Winnipeg and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 18-
of-21 shots for the win.
Ladd broke a 3-3 tie at the 3:31 mark of the third period. Bryan Little’s shot
from the top of the right circle hit off the pads of Jaroslav Halak, leaving a
rebound for Ladd.
The Islanders went on the power play when Postma was called for holding with
4:04 remaining. But Pavelec held strong in net to preserve the victory for
“It was not our greatest start but we had a strong finish,” Ladd said.
The Jets played Tuesday without Zach Bogosian and the defenseman is
questionable for tonight’s tilt with an upper-body injury.
Winnipeg is close to getting Evander Kane back on the ice and the winger could
play as early as tonight. Kane, who has been sidelined since spraining his
right knee in the season opener, was cleared to practice fully on Wednesday
and is questionable for Thursday. Kane had 19 goals and 41 points for the Jets
last season and is a former 30-goal scorer.
New Jersey has been the opposite of the Jets so far in 2014-14, starting the
season strong before falling on hard times. The Devils began the campaign on a
three-game winning streak, but have lost five of their six outings since.
The Devils, who are 1-3-2 over their last six, surrendered a season-high eight
goals their last time out, losing 8-3 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
New Jersey scored the first goal Tuesday and actually held a 3-1 over the
Penguins until things fell apart. Pittsburgh tallied seven unanswered goals,
ending the second period with a 5-3 lead before pulling away even further in
Dainius Zubrus, Tuomo Ruutu and Jacob Josefson all scored for the Devils.
Cory Schneider gave up five goals on 23 shots over the first two periods
before being pulled. Scott Clemmensen gave up three goals on 10 shots through
the final 20 minutes of play.
“It was ugly and got away from us in the second half of the game,” said
Schneider. “You have to learn from your mistakes, but this is also one that
you just want to put behind you and move on to the next one.”
The Devils aim to turn things around at home, where the club will play three
straight beginning with tonight’s tilt, but the club is 0-1-2 at the
Prudential Center so far this season.
Jersey hopes to have Mike Cammalleri back tonight after the veteran winger
missed Tuesday’s game with an upper-body injury. Cammalleri is leading the
Devils with five goals and is tied for second on the club with seven points.
Winnipeg has won four of five meetings versus the Devils overall and has
claimed two of the last three in the Garden State.
Pavelec expects to start tonight and is 6-3-3 with a 2.16 goals against
average in his career against the Devils. Schneider is 1-1-0 with a 2.02 GAA
in two lifetime appearances versus the Jets.