The Jets are in full-on desperation mode after a loss to the Dallas Stars on Monday, while the Sharks have turned to capturing the Pacific Division as their goal after clinching a playoff spot earlier in the week. In their last meeting on January 23rd, the Jets couldn’t equalize on a late goal, as the Sharks won 1-0. This will be the tie-break in the three-game season series, after Winnipeg defeated San Jose 5-4 in a shootout on November 10th. All-time, the Jets are 1-2 against San Jose.
The Jets will start Al Montoya for the sixth game in a row, after Ondrej Pavelec had his first full practice since injury on Wednesday. Montoya is 2-3 in those five games, and has a .921% save percentge and 2.29 GAA in 26 games this season. The Sharks will likely start Antti Niemi, two days after a 28-save win over the Edmonton Oilers. Niemi has a 36-14-7 record this season, averaging 2.32 goals against, and posting a .914% save percentage.
New dad and Jets’ captain Andrew Ladd will return to the rotation on Thursday, after missing their game on Monday with the birth of his child. The Jets are without Mark Scheifele, James Wright, Chris Thorburn, and Ondrej Pavelec. Zach Bogosian is a game-time decision after missing two of the past three games with an undisclosed injury. San Jose will miss Adam Burish, who underwent surgery on his injured hand on Wednesday. Raffi Torres and Tomas Hertl are both on the IR with knee injuries.
The Jets are in a deep hole with a Phoenix Coyotes win on Tuesday night, but are not mathematically eliminated from taking the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
Jets’ coach Paul Maurice had a simple response when asked on how they will need to beat the Sharks at Wednesday’s practice:
We’ll need to work our butts off. Simple as that.”
The Jets are 15-17-3 on the road this season, and have a surprising 9-5-2 record against Pacific Division teams this year. The Sharks are 26-5-5 inside the SAP Center this year, with a 11-5-2 record against Central Division teams.
You can see the game on TSN Jets, as well as listen live on TSN 1290 radio. Non-regional viewers can catch the action on CSN-California.