NASHVILLE – The day after a big comeback against Southeast Division rival Washington, Winnipeg coach Claude Noel was mum on who would start Saturday against the Predators.
Down 3-0 on Friday against the Capitals, the Jets rallied to win 4-3 in overtime to move within four points of the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot with eight games to play as goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 20 saves and did not allow a goal after the 5:47 mark of the second period. The Jets hold a game in hand on Washington, which has 82 points.
Pavelec is 28-25-7 with a 2.84 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. Backup Chris Mason, a former Predator who played in the playoffs for Nashville, is 7-6-1 with a 2.40 GAA and .903 save percentage.
“We’ll see at game time,” was all Noel would say. Noel did say right wing Eric Fehr (shoulder) would miss the Saturday night contest.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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