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Rested Hurricanes take on rejuvenated Jets

by Pete Jensen
JETS (6-8-1) at HURRICANES (8-5-1)

TV: TSN-JETS, FS-Carolinas

Last 10:
Winnipeg 3-7-0; Carolina 6-3-1

Season series: Thursday marks the first of four meetings. The Jets won four of six against the Hurricanes last season, finishing two points ahead in the Eastern Conference standings.

Big story: The Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes have had two days of rest following a 3-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, but previously won three straight despite several injuries. The Jets snapped a three-game skid Tuesday at Buffalo and hope to build off that momentum.

Team Scope:

Winnipeg limped into Tuesday's clash with Buffalo after a winless three-game homestand, but a stellar effort from goalie Ondrej Pavelec lifted the Jets' spirits in a hurry. Pavelec had lost four straight decisions, but stopped 29 of 30 shots to will Winnipeg to a 2-1 win. The Sabres' loss prompted the team to dismiss coach Lindy Ruff on Wednesday.

The Jets killed all three Sabres power-play chances, and Andrew Ladd scored his fourth goal in as many games to pace the offense. Winnipeg's complete performance was refreshing for a team that had struggled to find positive energy.

"The first thing that it does when you win is it brings joy back in your life, which we all welcome because it's been miserable enough for a while," Winnipeg coach Claude Noel told

Hurricanes: Monday's game against the Canadiens was scoreless entering the third period, but it didn't take long for the tide to turn against the Hurricanes. Brandon Prust opened the scoring at 2:06 and Montreal scored twice more in the period to seal Carolina's fate.

The Hurricanes are tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning atop the Southeast Division, but will be without Jeff Skinner again Thursday. Skinner, the team's second-leading scorer, is out indefinitely with a concussion. But despite the lineup being depleted, Carolina coach Kirk Muller isn't making excuses.

"We're missing some key guys," Muller said. "In a tight game like [Monday], Skinner is a game-breaker type of player. But you’re going to have injuries, everyone's going to go through it, and you have to find a way to win. It was an opportunity for other guys and we just didn't capitalize or get the job done."

Who's hot: Jets forward Evander Kane is riding a four-game point streak, with one goal and three assists. … The Hurricanes' shutout loss to the Canadiens snapped Eric Staal's 11-game point streak.

Injury report:
Tobias Enstrom (shoulder), Antti Miettinen (upper body) and Al Montoya (lower body) are on injured reserve for Winnipeg. ... In addition to Skinner's absence, Tim Brent (lower body) and Tim Wallace (undisclosed) are day-to-day for Carolina, according to the team's website. Joni Pitkanen (lower body) and Tim Gleason (lower body) have been out.
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