After blanking the Senators with a 25-save shutout last night, Chris Mason will be back in the net tonight in New Jersey. Although he wasn’t tested much until the third period, he earned praise from his head coach and another start. Usually a team’s netminders would split starts on back-to-back nights, especially on the road, but Claude Noel is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with Mason.
The Devils, who are already pedestrian when it comes to putting pucks in the net, will be without Adam Henrique (groin pull), who has three goals in two games against the Jets this season. This bodes well for “Mase” and his mates as long as they can put forth an effort similar to last night’s.
Coming off of a shutout victory in which they allowed just 25 shots on goal, it makes sense for the Jets to back to Mason against the Devils. Ondrej Pavelec has not won his last three starts, and was peppered in the games against Boston and San Jose last week. It should help to get him some rest and get his game back on track. He could use it, as he’s started 37 of Winnipeg’s 45 games.
The Jets are very much in the thick of the playoff picture in the East and giving a goaltender who is coming off a shutout another start usually isn’t a bad idea. Meanwhile Pavelec can focus on making his next start, which could come against Buffalo, another team that struggles offensively.