The Winnipeg Jets and the Ottawa Senators will be closing up their season series tonight here at Bell MTS Place in downtown Winnipeg.
On paper, the Jets are the favoured team heading into the tilt. Nonetheless, the Senators have shown night in and night out that they can earn a win against anyone. To me, it’s a game I truly see going either way.
Ending their seven-game losing drought against the Calgary Flames Wednesday night to officially secure a post-season berth, the Winnipeg Jets showed signs of the team fans were used to seeing from the start of the season.
Vezina Trophy recipient Connor Hellebuyck stopped 32 shots from the Calgary Flames Wednesday night en route to his third shutout on the season and making it the 23rd of his career in the National Hockey League. He is now tied for the third-most shutouts by an American-born goalie in just his first six seasons in the National Hockey League.
With 10 goals on the year, Adam Lowry’s play since returning from an injury is adding some energy to the Jets. Earning 2 goals and 1 assist against the Calgary Flames, Lowry was named the first star after going scoreless in his past eight games.
Also of note, Captain Blake Wheeler earned the second star of the night in the Jets’ victory. Securing his first multi-point game since March 26th, Wheeler’s second goal made him the fifth American-born NHL player to reach 800 career points.
On that very goal, Mark Scheifele’s assist helped him reach the 500 point milestone in his NHL career.
Tonight marks the start for a Winnipeg Jets four-game home-stand to close out the regular season, with two games back-to-back versus the Vancouver Canucks Monday and Tuesday, and one against the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday.
Winnipeg is expected to play either the Edmonton Oilers or the Leafs in the first round of the Playoffs.
Given their play as of late, the Jets are lucky to even be in the running to win Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The Winnipeg Jets have a 6-3 record against the Ottawa Senators this season and are 3-1 at BellMTS Place.
Alternate Captain Mark Scheifele is leading the team in this season series with 13 points, broken down to 9 assists and 4 goals.
Goalie Connor Hellebuyck has a 4-2-0 record in his games against the Ottawa Senators with a save % of .917 and 2.35 GAA.
Backup Winnipeg Jets netminder Laurent Brossoit has a GAA of 2.33, a save percentage of .920 with a record versus the Ottawa Senators of 2-1-0.
This a very important road game for the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa will finish the trip versus the Calgary Flames Sunday and head back home to host the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday.
The Sens were 5-1 winners at home over Montreal two nights ago. With the type of play the Senators are exuding, it is giving the organization and fan base much to hope for and look forward to going into next season. Quite a few of their young studs have started to show flashes of confident play on the ice.
Erik Brannstrom earned his first multi-point game for his NHL career with three assists in the home victory Wednesday night.
Scoring his first goal in the National Hockey League, Shane Pinto was all smiles in the victory as well.
Goalie Anton Forsberg made 30 saves in his first game since April 12th in Wednesday night’s win. Forsberg did also sign a one-year extension with the Senators organization, but Filip Gustavsson will get the nod to start tonight’s game.
Evegenii Dadonov did sit out the game against the Canadiens with an upper-body injury and had been listed as day-to-day, but it looks as though he will play tonight. The Russian winger has a total of 20 points in 52 games this season. 13 of those points are goals.
GO JETS GO!