After railing off three straight wins dating back to last Tuesday, the Winnipeg Jets were finally on the losing end of the ledger in a 4-1 shellacking by the Ottawa Senators. Winnipeg struggled to gain momentum from the get-go and found themselves trailing 2-0 before the opening frame had concluded. Though they would mount a valiant effort that came two Evander Kane chances short of a being different story, the Jets were clearly outclassed by a better prepared opponent.
This evening, they will square off against the Boston Bruins for the third time this season -- both previous reunions resulting in a loss in the standings column.
With Al Montoya recently being placed on Winnipeg's injured reserve, it looks as though Ondrej Pavelec will be receiving his sixth straight start (say that three times fast) for the Jets. His likely adversary in tonight's game will be Finnish netminder Tuukka Rask who has been rock solid as the Bruins newly anointed starter this season.
With the win, the Jets can build distance between themselves and the Carolina Hurricanes who are now tied for the division lead after loosing to the New York Rangers in a shootout last night.
Keys to the Game:
Meet Archie: Defenseman Arturs Kulda is fresh off signing himself a pro-rated one-year $500,000 contract with the Jets and could be available for a sorely depleted blueline tonight. Kulda scored 9G and 6A in his fifty games with the KHL's Novosibirsk Siber this season.
Running on fumes: Winnipeg was given a day off after two game in Ontario left them looking haggard and exhausted come its conclusion. Will getting back in front of a charged home crowd be able to provide them the spark they missed in Ottawa?
#FreeBurmi?: It's been four games since fans have last seen Alexander Burmistrov in Winnipeg's line-up as the team rattled on with a 3-1-0 record during his absence. Has the young Russian forward learned his lesson or will he remain a healthy scratch on Winnipeg's line-up card?
Killer B's: What better way to set the tempo in tonight's game than to come out hitting. The Jets will have no easy feat in finding a way to neutralize one of the NHL's most physical rosters. I'm sure the game plan will heavily emphasize an aggressive dump and chase to Dustin Byfuglien's side of the ice in order to wear him out.
Krejci's crutches: David Krejci was absolutely blasted by a Zdeno Chara point shot over the weekend and was evidently hobbled on his way to the dressing room. The Bruins have confirmed there are no broken bones and that Krejci is listed as day-to-day. For the Bruins, his presence against the Jets goes a long way in boosting their offense.
Best show in town: The Bruins penalty kill currently tops the NHL, operating at an astounding 93% efficiency rating. Needless to say, it's success has drawn a linear correlation to Boston's record as one of the Eastern Conference's best thus far.
Player to Boo Mercilessly:
Brad Marchand: He's not quite a mop and he's not quite a puppet, but oh man!
Winnipeg 1 - F