Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 04/23/2013 10:30 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 04/23/2013 12:26 PM | Updates
WASHINGTON — The Jets have played many games with consequences since their return to Winnipeg.
It goes to a new level tonight when they meet the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (6 p.m. CT, TSNJets, TSN1290).
Sparked by their persistence in a 2-1 win Monday night in Buffalo, the Jets have a chance to take over the Southeast Division lead tonight.
Washington is at 52 points in 45 games; the Jets have 51 in 46 games.
An outright Washington win would clinch the division title and the Eastern Conference’s third seed for the Caps.
That wouldn’t eliminate the Jets, who trail the Rangers and Ottawa by a single point, but would bring in the need for a few miracles later in the week plus a win over Montreal in their season-finale on Thursday at home.
The team held an optional skate this morning at Verizon Center. Most regulars took the morning off, but goalie Ondrej Pavelec was on the ice.
"To have a morning skate, like usual before the game," Pavelec said this morning, even though it’s a back-to-back situation for the Jets. "I’ve done that a few times. We had a day off before the games. I didn’t want to hang out at the hotel all day long.
"I just like to go on the ice. Now I’ll have a good nap."
Jets right-winger Chris Thorburn also participated this morning.
"Coming off a big win yesterday... it’s a matter of us going back to the hotel, getting our mindset right and coming back for the game tonight against Washington and you know the implication of this game," Thorburn said. "We’ll be ready."
The rugged forward said that without career playoff experience, "This is probably one of the biggest games of my career."
Pavelec, who will start his 12th straight game tonight, didn’t want to go there.
"I wouldn’t say the biggest game," Pavelec said. "Every game is big. If we lose two games a month ago, we wouldn’t be here. So every game is huge.
"Last night was a huge game as well. It’s going to feel the same.
"I don’t think the last few years we’ve been in this situation. We really enjoy it."
He said he’s up for the challenge against the hot Capitals.
"We’ll play against a really good team," he said. "We’ve got to be ready for them.
In the season series between the Jets and Caps, it’s been visitors all the way.
Winnipeg dominated in an early-season win here in Washington, 4-2, while the Caps won all three outings at the MTS Centre, including back-to-back one-sided games in late March that sparked their climb up the standings.
The Caps have won nine of the last 10, while the Jets are 6-0-1 in their last seven.
Winnipeg will be without several regulars due to injury —defencemen Toby Enstrom and Zach Bogosian and forwards Olli Jokinen, Jim Slater and now Kyle Wellwood. Wellwood blocked a shot early in Monday’s second period and is out long-term with a hand injury, the team said.
Nik Antropov skated this morning and could come into the lineup to fill Wellwood’s spot. Antropov has been out with an injury since April 2.
Noel also hinted Monday that he could resort to seven defencemen tonight, if needed.
Updated on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM CDT: Updates with quotes from this morning's skate.
11:59 AM: Fixes typo in headline.
12:26 PM: adds video
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Canadians hail de la Renta as fashion force
Officer under investigation for sexual harassment sues police force, city
'Hate mail' slammed at Wolseley public meeting
HSC sets aside 10 isolation rooms to deal with Ebola
Judy W-L stays unperturbed while Bowman is buoyed after new poll shows him ahead
Paul Maurice is frustrated after Jets' four-game losing streak
Kurds rally in support of besieged countrymen in Syria
Five-year old boy dies after being struck by vehicle at St. Theresa Point First Nation
Murder trial begins for man accused of dismembering co-worker
N.B.'s new premier touts Energy East
A search for the visionary mayor
Man in Forces incident had 'become radicalized':PMO
Winnipeggers resign themselves to new community mailboxes
Judge's inquiry panel to begin Nov. 24
Bombers will hand offence controls back over to Willy for matchup with B.C. Lions
Record iPhone sales drive Apple's 3Q beat
Voynov suspended on domestic violence suspicion
Advance poll turnout continues to increase, sets record this year
Oscar de la Renta, legendary designer, dead at 82
No rules stop school trustee incumbents from using official email for campaigns
Six-week-old infant dies at Red Sucker Lake First Nation
Architectural historian Frank Albo endorses Sanders for mayor
PTE posts 11th consecutive surplus
Winnipeg group trying to sponsor three Syrian refugee families to come to Canada
From Blink to the Sheriff, these five running backs earned their place in Bomber history
Two-vehicle crash on Trans-Canada Highway near Oak Lake covers lane with debris
Crummey talks Sweetland at News Café
Missing teen last seen in Elmwood
Nigerians await news on missing girls
Police: Indiana suspect hints at more killings
No medics without evacuation plan: Ambrose
Case on aboriginal kids in care nearing end
Police arrest man in alleged sexual assault on transit bus
Bowman, Judy W-L neck and neck, poll shows
Manitoba Hydro invites questions online on its bid to control Lake Winnipeg levels
Drug treatment for female sexuality not about equality
Class action lawsuit filed against CHL
School fire forces relocation of polling station in Elmwood-East Kildonan
Police looking for man suspected of sexual assault at Fort and Graham bus shelter
Mayes, Bihun, Bestland to play at Blues Manitoba bash