Tonight, the Winnipeg Jets and Tampa Bay Lightning will be in a fight for two–two points that could easily help either team jump up in the Eastern Conference standings, that is. Both teams are outside the playoffs looking in and both have 21 points for the season to their names, but two points could boost them up closer to the big bold line in the conference.
However, when last these two teams met, the Lightning struck and struck often to pile on an 8-3 win. They scored three straight power play goals in the first period, layered three more even-strength goals on in the second and put two more on top in a goal-filled third period. Tobias Enstrom, Paul Postma and Andrew Ladd all put up goals in the third and Postma and Ladd’s came on power plays too, but it was nowhere near enough.
By the way, that game was in Tampa Bay, where the two teams will play tonight and where the Lightning are proficient in winning against the Jets.
Going into round two, Winnipeg has lost its last two games, although they did manage to play a penalty-free third in their 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. They were undisciplined in the first period of that 8-3 blowout against the other Floridian team, which obviously bit them hard–the odds were in Tampa Bay’s favor because the Lightning are already among the league’s top power play units, whereas the Jets don’t do so well on the man advantage.
That being said, here are some productive Jets from past meetings with the Bolts: Nik Antropov (12 goals, 13 assists, 44 games), Olli Jokinen (26 goals, 27 assists, 55 games), Ladd (five goals, eight assists, 24 games), Bryan Little (two goals, 12 assists, 31 games) and Blake Wheeler (three goals, seven assists, 18 games).
Though he was pulled last time these two teams met, look for Ondrej Pavelec in net tonight against Anders Lindback.
Tonight’s game will start at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, 6:30 p.m. Central.