Feb 27, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Olli Jokinen (12) and Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) watch the puck during the second period at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes Settle Season Series: Preview

The Winnipeg Jets (33-34-9) look to close out their five-game road trip with a win against the Phoenix Coyotes (36-27-12) who are searching for their first win against the club this season.

The Jets are fresh off one of the most heartbreaking losses of the season, blowing a four-goal lead and losing in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night. The Coyotes are well-rested after a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. In their last meeting on February 27th, the Jets came out of the Olympic break with a 3-2 shootout win at the MTS Centre. Winnipeg has a 2-0 lead in the season series, and are 3-1 all-time against the former Jets.

The Jets will start Ondrej Pavelec for the second straight game, just 24 hours after 31 saves in Anaheim the night before. Michael Hutchinson has been with the club since mid-March when Pavelec went down with an injury, but it is now back-up Al Montoya that is sidelined with a lower-body injury. The Coyotes will start Thomas Griess for the fifth straight game, as Mike Smith is still out with injury. Griess is 9-6-2 this season with a .924% save percentage and 2.30 GAA.

The Jets bring a banged-up roster into the game, with defensemen Zach Bogosian and Keaton Ellerby still out with injury. Zach Redmond will likely draw in the lineup for the second straight game, after recording an assist in the loss to Anaheim on Monday. Mark Scheifele, Chris Thorburn, and James Wright are also out with injury, along with Montoya.

Along with Smith, the Coyotes will make a game-time decision on David Moss, who did not play in Minnesota on Saturday. Dave Schlemko is also out with a upper-body injury, and hasn’t played since March 6.

The Coyotes are still in the hunt (no pun intended) for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, a position that the Jets were challenging for just three short weeks ago. However, the Jets will likely be eliminated in the coming days with wins by teams such as the Dallas Stars, and the Coyotes themselves.

The Jets have a 16-18-4 road record this season, but are positive against the Yotes’ Pacific Division, at 10-6-3. Phoenix has struggled against the Central Division, with only 5 wins in 18 games against Central teams this year. They are 21-13-3 at home this season.


You can see the game on TSN Jets, or listen live on TSN 1290 radio. Puck drop is at 9:00 PM Central Time.


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