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Jets and Senators try for perfect weekend

by John Kreiser

JETS (15-11-2) at SENATORS (14-8-6)

TV: TSN-Jets; TVA, SNET-East

Last 10: Winnipeg 7-2-1; Ottawa 4-2-4

Season series: It's the third and final meeting this season and the second at Scotiabank Place. The road team has won the first two, with the Jets blanking Ottawa 1-0 on Feb. 9

Big story: Two of the NHL's surprise teams try to continue their success in the second half of a back-to-back. The Jets climbed into first place in the Southeast Division with a 5-4 shootout victory at Toronto on Saturday night, a few hours after the Senators won 4-3 in overtime at Buffalo.

Team Scope:

Jets: Things are going so well for Winnipeg that even seeing a 4-1 lead melt away didn't get the Jets down. Toronto scored three unanswered goals to send Saturday's game to the tiebreaker, but defenseman Zach Bogosian scored in the 10th round to give the Jets the win in the longest shootout in the NHL in more than two years.

The win, combined with Carolina's 4-1 loss at Tampa Bay, sent the Jets to Canada's capital in first place. Winnipeg has won three in a row and is 5-0-1 in its past six games.

"We've played well of late. Things are really coming together," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "We still have a ways to go, but we believe in ourselves and the way we play -- and we're happy we're at the top, at least for the time being."

Senators: They're still missing their starting goaltender (Craig Anderson), their top center (Jason Spezza) and their Norris Trophy-winning defenseman (Erik Karlsson) -- and yet the Senators continue to find ways to win. On Saturday, that meant overcoming a 2-0 deficit with a three-goal second period, allowing the Sabres to force overtime, then getting the extra point when Kyle Turris scored a power-play goal with 66 seconds left in OT.

What please coach Paul MacLean the most was that his team didn't get down on itself after the Sabres dominated the first period.

"That's what we had to do -- respond," MacLean said. "Down 2-0 on the road, the next goal is huge. And I thought we came out and established our game finally and put some pressure on their goaltender."

Who's hot: Blake Wheeler has scored two goals in two of the Jets' past three games, including Saturday night. Captain Andrew Ladd has six points in his past five games.

Injury report: Winnipeg is playing without backup goaltender Al Montoya (lower body), forwards Jim Slater (upper body) and Anthony Peluso (hand), and defensemen Zach Redmond (lacerated leg) and Tobias Enstrom (shoulder). … In addition to Anderson (ankle sprain), Spezza (knee) and Karlsson (Achilles tendon), the Senators are also missing forwards Milan Michalek (knee) and David Dziurzynski (concussion) as well as defenseman Mike Lundin (concussion).

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