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:
Jiri Tlusty – Eric Staal – Alexander Semin
Tuomo Ruutu – Jordan Staal – Chad LaRose
Nicolas Blanchard – Riley Nash – Pat Dwyer
Tim Wallace – Kevin Westgarth
Justin Faulk – Tim Gleason
Joe Corvo – Jay Harrison
Bobby Sanguinetti – Jamie McBain
Scratched: Brett Bellemore
Injured: Drayson Bowman (lower body), Tim Brent (lower body), Joni Pitkanen (heel), Cam Ward (knee), Jeff Skinner (upper body)
Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane – Olli Jokinen – Kyle Wellwood
Eric Tangradi – Alexander Burmistrov – Mike Santorelli
James Wright – Aaron Gagnon – Chris Thorburn
Grant Clitsome – Dustin Byfuglien
Ron Hainsey – Zach Bogosian
Mark Stuart – Paul Postma
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)