From the Morning Skate:
Coach Noel confirmed that Al Montoya will get his second consecutive start between the pipes for the Jets and his third of the season. Noel explained that although it's no secret that Montoya had a strong game on Saturday shutting out the Senators, the decision was not made strictly on that alone.
"Pav's is coming off of flu-like symptoms and was fairly sick and we wanted to give him a little more time. I'm not one to say you have to play the guy because he has a shutout, it just turned out that way. I think it's a good opportunity for him to get in a groove and to build on confidence."
The other main piece of news that came out of the practice was the confirmation that Dustin Byfuglien will make his return to the lineup after missing the last five games with a lower body injury. His return means that one of the other blueliners that have been filling in will have to watch tonight's game from the pressbox. Who that will be, will be a game-time decision."
The Jets will try to win for the fourth time in five home games Tuesday night when they take on the Flyers, losers of six of seven on the road.
With Pavelec out with the flu, Montoya made his second start and came up with 33 saves in a 1-0 win over Ottawa on Saturday. It was a performance Winnipeg (5-5-1) needed after losing four of its previous five contests.
"I felt good and I felt comfortable out there," Montoya said. "I felt like I did everything to prepare for this game."
Montoya picked up his third career shutout and may get more starts with Pavelec slumping. While he's expected to start Tuesday, Pavelec has lost four of his last five starts with a 4.26 goals-against average.
Pavelec is 5-1-1 in seven career starts against Philadelphia despite a 3.62 GAA.
The Jets haven't given either goalie much support recently, scoring three goals in their last two games despite a combined 62 shots. Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler pace the team with four goals apiece, and Ladd has seven goals in his last nine games against the Flyers.
Winnipeg leads the NHL in scoring by defensemen with 34 points behind Tobias Enstrom's 13.
The Jets could be poised for a big night offensively against a Philadelphia team that ranks near the bottom of the league in goals allowed with 38.
The Flyers (5-7-1) opened a six-game trip Monday with a 5-2 loss to Toronto, their fourth straight road defeat. Philadelphia has been outscored 15-6 and converted 1 of 18 power-play chances during that skid.
The Flyers haven't had much success against the Jets either, losing 10 of 12. However, they snapped a four-game skid in the series with a 5-4 overtime win at Winnipeg on Feb. 21, getting 55 shots.
The Philadelphia Flyers' top goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has continued to struggle on the road, one of the issues that has plagued the team during their season-long problems away from home. Bryzgalov was pulled in the second period against the Maple Leafs after allowing four goals on 14 shots and was replaced by Brian Boucher, who finished with nine saves.
"We shot ourselves in the foot and it seemed to unravel a little bit," coach Peter Laviolette said. " ... and we couldn't get back on track."
While Bryzgalov has been outstanding at home, going 4-1-1 with a 1.97 GAA, he's gone 1-5-0 with a 3.16 GAA in six road starts.
He is 3-0-1 with a 2.18 GAA in four career starts against the Jets, though he gave up four goals on 26 shots Feb. 21, his only road game versus Winnipeg.
Wayne Simmonds, who ended a four-game goal drought by scoring against the Leafs, had a goal and an assist in the teams' last meeting.
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