Winnipeg Jets: 11-11-1 (23 pts) at Florida Panthers: 7-12-5 (19 pts)
The Florida Panthers must be glad to be out of Washington. After last night’s 7-1 loss, the Panthers have been outscored 12-1 in their two games in Washington. Luckily for Florida, they only have to face the Capitals one more time and the game will be in Florida. The Panthers have little time to regroup after last night’s drubbing as they return home tonight to face the Winnipeg Jets. Florida has fared well against the Jets this season having gone 2-0-1 against them. It was only three nights ago that the Panthers convincingly beat the Jets at home 4-1.
Both teams are coming off a game the previous night. We know all about what happened to the Panthers in Washington, the Jets had a much better night, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Al Montoya got the start for the Jets, his first since Feb. 12th, and picked up the win, stopping 27 of 28. We can expect to see Ondrej Pavelec in net for the Jets tonight. The Panthers goaltender tonight is a mystery. Neither keeper did anything last night to demonstrate they deserve the start tonight. Jacob Markstrom was pulled 3:10 into the first period after allowing two goals on two shots. Scott Clemmensen came on in relief and allowed five goals on 24 shots. I would guess that Markstrom will be given a chance to redeem himself tonight especially since he played well in the Panthers win over the Jets on Tuesday.
- Yes Florida played poorly last night, but the disparity between the two teams’ goaltending was on full display. The Panthers outshot the Jets 30-26. Say what you will about quality of scoring chances, you should never outshoot a team and lose by SIX GOALS. Hopefully someone steps up in net tonight and actually gives the team a chance.
- Tonight is the last time this season the Panthers play the Jets at home. The two teams meet one more time at the Peg in April. Anyone out there who loves the Panthers-Jets rivalry should hold tight to these last two games, because if the NHL goes through with its realignment plan, then the Jets would move to the Western Conference and see a whole let less of the Florida Panthers.
- Jonathan Huberdeau may one of the few who are upset to see the Jets move to the Western Conference. Huberdeau has a goal in each of the three games Florida has played against the Jets this season.
- I know looking at the standings is a futile exercise at this point in the season but we’ll do it anyway. Florida is 7 points behind the Rangers for the last playoff spot. A win tonight and Florida could move into a tie for last place in the East rather than sole possession of last place. Before we start looking at the playoffs lets just start with getting out of the basement, sound good? okay.
Enjoy the game tonight, if you want more Panther news, follow us @fansidedtherat