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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, April 18th (All times Eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (17-23-2) at Winnipeg Jets (22-19-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Winnipeg Jets try to keep their perfect homestand intact on Thursday night and post their longest winning streak in over two years as they take on the rival Carolina Hurricanes.
The Jets have won four straight for the first time this season, picking up a victory in the first four of a six-game homestand. Winnipeg's current run comes on the heels of five straight losses and has the club tied with the New York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Winnipeg is also four points behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the Southeast Division, a spot that will likely come with the third seed in the upcoming playoffs. The Jets and Caps both have five games left to play and will battle in Washington on April 23.
The Caps are visiting the Ottawa Senators tonight, while the Rangers, who have six games remaining, are hosting the Florida Panthers.
Despite blowing a two-goal lead in the third period on Tuesday, the Jets rebounded to best the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in a shootout. Andrew Ladd and Mike Santorelli both scored in the bonus frame, while Ondrej Pavelec made 24 saves through overtime before stopping both skaters he faced in the shootout.
Ladd also had two goals and an assist in regulation, giving him four goals and five assists over a five-game point streak.
"At the end of the day, we had some big goals in the shootout and we got our two points, so we'll take it and move on," Ladd remarked.
Winnipeg will try to win five straight for the first time since relocating from Atlanta and for the first time since the Thrashers claimed six in a row from Nov. 19-30, 2010.
The Hurricanes continue to play out the string and have lost eight of nine and 15 of their past 17 games. The club was last in action on Tuesday, when it dropped a 3-2 decision to the Senators.
Justin Faulk and Eric Staal both tallied in the setback, while Justin Peters made 31 saves.
Carolina forward Jeff Skinner is doubtful for this game after suffering an upper body injury versus the Sens. Skinner took a big hit and was holding his head down on the ice before exiting.
The Jets had won three straight and six of their previous eight versus the Hurricanes before Carolina notched a 3-1 victory in Winnipeg on March 30 in the most recent encounter. The 'Canes have won eight of the last 10 as the visitor in this series.
04/18 10:58:51 ET