PENGUINS (9-5-0) at JETS (5-6-1)
TV: CBC, RDS, ROOT
Last 10: Pittsburgh 7-3-0; Winnipeg 5-5-0
Season series: This is the second of three meetings. Sidney Crosby scored twice in the first period of his Winnipeg debut on Jan. 25, but the Jets scored four unanswered goals in a 4-2 win over the Penguins at MTS Centre. The teams close their series March 28 at Consol Energy Center.
Big story: It could be a night of debuts when the Winnipeg Jets welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to town for the second time this season. Two days after being traded by Pittsburgh to Winnipeg in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, forward Eric Tangradi is likely to be in the Jets' lineup against his former team. Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian (wrist), who has not played following offseason surgery, could make his season debut.
Penguins: Pittsburgh's 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday was overshadowed by a season-ending injury to Senators defenseman and reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson. But for a Penguins team that knows about having its star player (Crosby) sidelined for much of the past two seasons, the victory served as a reminder how far the 25-year-old forward has come in his recovery.
Crosby, who had a goal and two assists in the win, became the fifth-fastest player in League history to reach 400 assists. The Penguins improved to 5-2-0 in February after being swept in a home-and-home series by the New Jersey Devils last weekend.
"You've seen him (Crosby) play through  games now, at a pretty high level, doing some amazing things," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma told the Newark Star-Ledger after a game on Feb. 10 against New Jersey. "He's playing well. He's pretty darn good right now."
Jets: Winnipeg had two days of rest to ponder its 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game homestand. The Jets came up empty in three power-play opportunities, falling to a Flyers team that came into the game 1-6-0 away from home.
Andrew Ladd scored an equalizer in the first period and again to trim the Jets' deficit in the final minute of the third, but overall it was a night of missed opportunities.
"I didn't really care for the game," Jets coach Claude Noel told NHL.com. "I thought we played in spurts. It's a game that we could have won, and we let it get away."
Who's hot: Penguins forward James Neal, who had two goals and an assist Wednesday, has five goals and three assists over his past six games. … Ladd, who had his first multigoal game of the season Tuesday, has four goals and two assists over his past six games.
Injury report: The Penguins are at full strength after welcoming back defensemen Kris Letang (lower body) and Matt Niskanen (lower body) Wednesday. … Noel said Bogosian will be a game-time decision, according to the Winnipeg Sun. The Jets ate expected to be without goalie Al Montoya (lower body) and forward Antti Miettinen (upper body).
|Back to top ↑|