Jets begin stretch of 13 out of 15 games at home

by Patrick Williams /
WINNIPEG -- Tonight's home date with the Ottawa Senators begins a stretch of 13 of 15 games on MTS Centre ice for the Winnipeg Jets.

The home-heavy holiday schedule will be a change for the 9-10-4 Jets, who have opened this season with 15 of their first 23 games on the road in going 4-7-4 away from Winnipeg. The Jets will welcome in the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday and receive a visit from the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.

Home ice has been kind to the Jets this month, the club having swept a homestand from Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia earlier this month in convincing fashion. The Jets followed up that effort with a 1-1-1 swing through Washington, Carolina and Boston last week. The Jets, whose 25.1-percent conversion rate on the power play at home ranks second in the NHL, rang up a 6-for-15 performance on the power play in those three home games before going scoreless on the man-advantage last week on the road.

The Jets are coming off a 4-2 loss on Saturday night to the Boston Bruins after surrendering four unanswered goals to spoil another strong performance from workhorse goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.

The Jets' blue line continues to battle injury woes. Ron Hainsey will miss his 18th game out of Winnipeg's past 19. Tobias Enstrom, Brett Festerling, Randy Jones and Derek Meech all remain on injured reserve for the Jets, who have lost 113 man-games to injury this season.

Here are tonight's projected lines and pairings for the Jets.

Evander Kane - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Andrew Ladd - Nik Antropov - Kyle Wellwood
Tanner Glass - Alexander Burmistrov - Eric Fehr
Jason Jaffray - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn

Mark Stuart - Dustin Byfuglien
Johnny Oduya - Zach Bogosian
Arturs Kulda - Mark Flood

Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start for the Jets, with Chris Mason backing up.