|PHX||1||0||1||0||0 (1 - 4)||2|
|WPG||1||1||0||0||1 (2 - 4)||3|
COYOTES (27-21-10) at JETS (28-26-6)
Season series: This is the second of three games between the Phoenix Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets. The teams last played Jan. 13 in Winnipeg when the Jets used five unanswered goals to cruise to a 5-1 win in Head Coach Paul Maurice's debut with the team.
Big story: The Coyotes are in 10th place in the Western Conference standings with just 24 games - 11 at home and 13 on the road - left in the regular season. Only eight teams will make the playoffs.
Coyotes: Phoenix goalie Mike Smith came back from Sochi with a gold medal although he didn't see any playing time for Canada. Smith had allowed four goals in four starts before the Olympic break and looks to stay hot.
"I was feeling pretty confident about my game before I left. I was able to see some of the best shooters in the world when I was over there for two weeks, so I hope to start back up where I left when I went away to the Olympics," Smith said. "There's a big push now. We know where we are in the standings and every game is going to be important."
The Coyotes are one of many teams fighting for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"There's probably about 10 or 12 teams that are in the same boat as we are - trying to preserve a playoff spot, trying to get into the playoffs," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "It's going to be a scramble as we go down and every game is going to be important."
Defenseman Keith Yandle said the Coyotes are eager to avenge the 5-1 defeat to the Jets on Jan. 13.
"They embarrassed us," Yandle said. "It was a bad game for us. We didn't really do much right... They played hard. We've just got to expect that again."
Jets: Winnipeg will play 12 of its final 22 games at home. They are 4-1-0 at MTS Centre since Maurice was named coach Jan. 12.
"I love playing at home. We need to be good at home. It's one of our advantages," Maurice said after practice Wednesday. "Is there a little more pressure playing at home? Sure, but that's a good thing. This is a great place to play. We would prefer to play 82 of them at home."
Defenseman Mark Stuart said despite playing better over the past month, there is still work to be done to make a playoff run.
"We're looking at this last quarter of the season as a long playoff series and I think we are just really excited to get out there and play," Stuart said. "We are well aware of how many points we need and how many games we probably have to win, but I don't think we are thinking about that going into (the game Thursday)."
Who's hot: Coyotes center Antoine Vermette will enter the game with a 10-game point streak. It is the team's longest individual point streak not only this season, but since Keith Yandle’s 10-game point streak from Jan. 11 - Feb. 1, 2011. Vermette is one of nine NHL players to record a point streak of 10 or more games this season... Jets forward Blake Wheeler has four assists in the past three games.
Injury report: Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris (upper body) is questionable. … Jets forwards Jim Slater (hernia), Matt Halischuk (forearm) and defenseman Grant Clitsome (back) are on injured reserve. Kane (hand) is expected to play. Defenseman Tobias Enstrom is probable (lower body).
|Apr 01 '14||WPG 2 at PHX 1 - SO||A. Ladd|
|Feb 27 '14||PHX 2 at WPG 3 - SO||O. Jokinen|
|Jan 13 '14||PHX 1 at WPG 5||E. O'Dell|