NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 12th (All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (29-28-10) at Winnipeg Jets (30-28-8), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets are desperate to end their longest losing streak under head coach Paul Maurice and they hope to take advantage of the ice-cold Vancouver Canucks in Wednesday's home game at MTS Centre.
The Jets and Canucks both have 68 points on the season, leaving them six points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Neither club has done itself any favors in the postseason chase of late, as Winnipeg has lost four in a row while the Canucks have dropped five of six and 12 of their last 14 games.
Vancouver has actually lost 21 of 27 games dating back to late December, and the club's most recent setback did not inspire confidence the club is ready to break out of the lengthy slump.
The Canucks led a visiting New York Islanders club 3-0 after two periods on Monday before giving up a whopping seven goals over the final 20 minutes of regulation to lose the tilt by a 7-4 count.
Chris Higgins, Christopher Tanev, Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin all scored for the Canucks, while Eddie Lack gave up six goals on 27 shots in the collapse.
"We should have had this game," said Sedin. "We played great hockey for 37 minutes but then we started making poor decisions. We should have been back in the race but now we're down and looking up."
The Canucks will try to put their latest disappointment behind them when they kick off a four-game road trip tonight. Vancouver, however, has lost seven straight as the guest and is just 13-17-4 on the road this season.
The club's last victory away from Vancouver was on Jan. 21 in Edmonton.
The Jets had lost four straight against the Canucks before posting a 4-3 home win on Jan. 31. That victory gave Winnipeg a 7-2-0 record since Maurice replaced Claude Noel as head coach, but the club is just 4-3-3 in the 10 games following that win.
Winnipeg lost for the sixth time in eight outings Monday in Colorado, although the Jets were able to record a point in the overtime loss. Matt Duchene scored 2:33 into the extra session to lift the Avalanche to the 3-2 decision.
Duchene lost control of the puck after twirling out of the corner. Winnipeg defenseman Tobias Enstrom tried to chip the puck away from the crease area, but it hit Duchene and the Avalanche forward scored on a backhand.
"He got position at the net. The puck came right back to him and a guy like that, he will not miss those," Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien said of Duchene.
Byfuglien scored both Winnipeg goals, with Bryan Little notching an assist on each score. Al Montoya took the loss despite stopping 31-of-34 shots.
Winnipeg, which hasn't made the playoffs since the franchise relocated from Atlanta prior to the 2011-12 season, hopes to boost its postseason chances during a home-heavy part of its schedule over the next week and a half. The Jets, who are 15-13-5 as the host this season, are beginning a three-game homestand on Wednesday and will play five of their next six games at MTS Centre.
03/12 10:48:50 ET