By: Adam Wazny | Wednesday, March 14
The Jets host the Dallas Stars tonight in the only meeting of the season between the teams. Winnipeg is closing in on must-win territory, starting a three-game homestand. They sit six points back of Washington for the 8th and final playoff spot in the East with 13 games to go. A win tonight means only a four-point gap with Washington, which visits MTS Centre on Friday. A loss tonight means big, big trouble if they can't beat the Caps.
The Jets will be without Zach Bogosian (lower body) tonight. Bogosian misses out for the 11th time in 12 games, but could return Friday. Dustin Byfuglien didn't take the morning skate but is expected to face the Stars. Winnipeg will play its first game since Chris Thorburn (lower body) was injured in Calgary and will be asked to add some offensive play to the gritty combo of Tanner Glass and Jim Slater. It will be really important for Claude Noel to be able to trust four lines so he can roll all four for as long as he sees fit - a short bench could expose the home team down the stretch.
Winnipeg has lost two in a row after visiting Vancouver and Calgary, but has won two in a row at home. Dallas has won six straight and has points in 11 straight games (10-0-1) to take the lead in the Pacific Division. Dallas is 1-9-2 in the second half of back-to-back games.
EASTERN CONFERENCE "LINE DANCE" ... tracking the race to get above the line between 8&9
3. FLORIDA (1. Southeast Division)
3/11 CAROLINA...Panthers win 2-0 ... 77PTS/68 GMS (start of 4 GM homestand)
3/13 TORONTO...Panthers win 5-2 ...79PTS/69 GMS
3/10 @BOS ... Caps win 4-3...74PTS/68 GMS
3/11 TOR ...Caps win 2-0...76PTS/69 GMS
3/13 @NYI ...Caps win 5-4 (SO) 78PTS/70 GMS (start 5 straight away)
3/10 @OTT ...Sabres win 4-3 SO... 72PTS/69 GMS
3/12 MTL ...Sabres win 3-2 OT ... 74PTS/70 GMS
10. WINNIPEG ... 72PTS/69 GMS
11. TAMPA BAY
3/10 CAROLINA ...Bolts lose 4-2...69PTS/68 GMS (start of 7 straight at home)
3/13 BOSTON ...Bolts win 6-1...71PTS/69 GMS