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At the Rink blog

Jets go for fifth straight win on critical homestand

Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 2:08 PM

By Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Jets go for fifth straight win on critical homestand

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets face another crucial game Thursday evening when they play the Carolina Hurricanes at MTS Centre.

Sitting in ninth place and tied at 46 points with the eighth-place New York Rangers, the Jets will again be without first-pairing defenseman Tobias Enstrom (mid-body), who will miss his third straight game. The Jets have won the first four games of their six-game homestand that ends Saturday afternoon against the New York Islanders.

The Hurricanes have lost four consecutive road games and will be without forward Jeff Skinner, who left their 3-2 road loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. Skinner joins goalie Cam Ward, defenseman Joni Pitkanen and forward Tim Brent among the Carolina injured. After the morning skate, coach Kirk Muller said he hopes Skinner will return this weekend when the Hurricanes play a pair of back-to-back games.

The Hurricanes will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen against the Jets. Tim Wallace, who has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury, will draw back into the lineup. Marc-Andre Bergeron will be Carolina's seventh defenseman and likely will see power-play duty.

Goalie Justin Peters, who beat the Jets 3-1 when the clubs met in Winnipeg on March 30, will start for the Hurricanes. Ondrej Pavelec will start for Winnipeg for the 20th time in the club's past 21 games.

Here are the projected lineups for the Hurricanes and Jets:

HURRICANES

Jiri TlustyEric StaalAlexander Semin

Tuomo RuutuJordan StaalChad LaRose

Nicolas BlanchardRiley Nash – Pat Dwyer

Tim WallaceKevin Westgarth

Justin FaulkTim Gleason

Joe CorvoJay Harrison

Bobby SanguinettiJamie McBain

Marc-Andre Bergeron

Justin Peters

Dan Ellis

Scratched: Brett Bellemore

Injured: Drayson Bowman (lower body), Tim Brent (lower body), Joni Pitkanen (heel), Cam Ward (knee), Jeff Skinner (upper body)

JETS

Andrew LaddBryan LittleBlake Wheeler

Evander KaneOlli JokinenKyle Wellwood

Eric TangradiAlexander BurmistrovMike Santorelli

James WrightAaron GagnonChris Thorburn

Grant ClitsomeDustin Byfuglien

Ron HainseyZach Bogosian

Mark StuartPaul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec

Al Montoya

Scratched: Arturs Kulda, Derek Meech, Antti Miettinen, Jacob Trouba

Injured: Nik Antropov (lower body), Tobias Enstrom (upper body), Anthony Peluso (hand), Zach Redmond (thigh), Jim Slater (hand)

Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp