NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, November 6th (All times Eastern)
Winnipeg Jets (6-8-2) at Chicago Blackhawks (9-2-4), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets are trying desperately to build some momentum. A road win Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks would certainly help in that regard, but first the Jets have to put a recent blowout loss against the defending Stanley Cup champions behind them.
The Jets halted a three-game losing streak with Monday's win against visiting Detroit, but that victory came just two days after Chicago recorded an easy 5-1 triumph in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg did get a good start against the visiting Blackhawks on Saturday, taking a 1-0 lead just over five minutes into the contest, but it was all downhill from there. The Blackhawks scored five unanswered goals, including three in a 4:55 span early in the second period to chase Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec from the game.
Saturday's rout marked Chicago's fifth straight win over the Jets, and the second since the franchise moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg prior to the 2011-12 season. Wednesday's contest marks the second stop in Chicago for the Jets since the franchise relocated.
Winnipeg is coming off a 4-2 victory over the Red Wings on Monday. Matt Halischuk scored the winning goal early in the third period to help the Jets win for just the second time in eight games (2-4-2).
Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Michael Frolik each posted a goal and an assist for the Jets. Al Montoya stopped 26 shots in the win.
"I thought one of the things we did very well was we got the pucks to the goal line and I thought we put a lot of pressure on their defense, a lot of shots to the net so there was a lot of really good things in that game," said Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel. "I thought a lot of guys had a really good game."
Forward Evander Kane did not play in Monday's win due to a lower-body injury, but was expected to make the trip to Chicago and could return tonight.
Pavelec expects to get back on the horse tonight against the Blackhawks. The Czech netminder is 0-2-2 with a lofty 4.49 goals against average in four career outings versus Chicago.
Corey Crawford, who made 26 saves to help the Blackhawks down Winnipeg on Saturday, is expected to get the call in net for Chicago in tonight's rematch. His start against the Jets last weekend was Crawford's first appearance against the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise.
Crawford started Sunday's game against Calgary, but he couldn't prevent the Flames from recording a 3-2 overtime decision in the Windy City. Kris Russell scored the game-winner 1:32 into the extra session, beating Crawford with a blistering slap shot from the point.
Patrick Kane had one goal and one assist and Marian Hossa also lit the lamp for the Blackhawks, who had won three in a row before the OT loss. Chicago sent 44 shots on net, but Reto Berra stopped 42 of them to earn an impressive win in his NHL debut.
"We did put pucks at him, but we didn't get enough rebounds and we didn't get enough traffic," Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said. "Certainly, he was pretty good at controlling those rebounds tonight as well."
Crawford turned away 27 shots in the setback.
Despite the OT setback against Calgary, the Blackhawks still only have one regulation loss on home ice this season. Chicago is 5-1-3 at the United Center this season after going 18-3-3 as the host during last year's lockout- shortened campaign.
Winnipeg is 2-3-1 on the road this season and has lost its last two away games in regulation.
11/06 10:37:42 ET