|WPG||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|SJS||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||1|
JETS (23-23-5) at SHARKS (32-12-6)
TV: TSN-JETS, CSN-CA
Last 10: Winnipeg 5-5-0; San Jose 7-3-0
Season series: Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd evened the score at four-all with under two minutes left in regulation, then was the only skater to convert in the shootout as the Jets edged the San Jose Sharks, 5-4, at MTS Centre on Nov. 11.
Big story: Don't look now, but the Jets may finally be adjusting to the rigors of the Western Conference. With four wins in four games under new coach Paul Maurice, the Jets (51 points, 12th in Western) are making a late charge up the conference standings.
"The whole team is playing with confidence," goaltender Ondrej Pavelec said. "The coach let us know that we're good players and we can beat everybody. … So that's good, but [we have] a lot of work in front of us. We have to keep going."
On Tuesday, the Jets finally earned a signature win by handing the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 defeat, the Western leaders' first regulation loss in 23 games at Honda Center.
Next up is another giant, the Sharks, who have won four straight behind the red-hot Joe Pavelski.
Jets: When Winnipeg made a coaching change on Jan. 12, relieving Claude Noel of his duties and hiring Maurice, its fortunes began to change. Maurice turned a team with a five-game losing skid to one with a four-game win streak.
"He's got so much experience," forward Michael Frolik said. "I think he's coached over 1,000 games, so he knows what he's doing. I think in the room, we get sharper too. We know in this League, it's not easy.
"I know it's never easy when the coach gets fired. I think we, as a group, came together and play for each other. I think we try to listen to him and the changes that's he made. So far, it's working."
It was definitely working on Tuesday in Anaheim. Where so many other teams folded, Winnipeg held strong. Pavelec made 40 saves, the Jets blocked 36 more shots and the Jets weathered a third-period onslaught to end the Ducks' run.
Sharks: With forwards Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Raffi Torres and Adam Burish on the shelf, the Sharks are proving just how deep their roster is. While names like Bracken Kearns, Eriah Hayes and John McCarthy won't drum up the same recognition, all three have done enough; Joe Pavelski has done the rest.
Pavelski has 18 goals in his past 20 games, and his 19.1 shooting percentage is fourth in the NHL among players with 12 or more goals. The line shake-ups forced him onto a trio with Brent Burns and Joe Thornton, where the American has thrived with six goals in his past three games.
"You look at the shooting percentages, and it's pretty good. So I'm getting a couple good looks and scoring on them," Pavelski told the San Jose Mercury News. "That's the biggest thing. You get your looks and you feel that you should score."
Who's hot: Pavelec is 4-0-0 over the Jets' streak with a .933 save percentage. … Pavelski may be playing the best hockey of his career, but the Sharks' other Joe is just his regular point-per-game self. Thornton has a goal and two assists over his past three games.
|Mar 27 '14||WPG 4 at SJS 3||T. Enstrom|
|Jan 23 '14||WPG 0 at SJS 1||J. Pavelski|
|Nov 10 '13||SJS 4 at WPG 5 - SO||A. Ladd|