12/03/24 Playoff Picture
Having the Capitals take a point with their overtime loss is not ideal, but at one point it looked like the Jets might have ended up being seven points back in the Eastern Conference standings. Instead, Winnipeg lies in tenth place with 78 points, while Washington and Buffalo both remain in reach with 82 points each.
Winnipeg Jets 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)
"Tim Stapleton? Spencer Machacek? Ben Maxwell? That game was unbelievable! Did you see that, of course you saw it!"
That's the conversation that was going on in coutless breakfast nooks and coffee shops in Winnipeg on Saturday morning. Essentially it was a playoff game for the Jets, and the team performed like playoff heros in the third period.
The seemingly-lowly line of Tim Stapleton, along with call-ups Ben Maxwell and Spencer Machacek combined for six points to power a massive third-period comeback. The overtime win keeps the Jets within four points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Buffalo Sabres 4, New York Rangers 1
The Sabres continued their stellar play as they shut down the potent New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. Drew Stafford scored two goals and added an assist, while Ryan Miller played like an all-star, stopping 26 of 27 shots he faced. The win allows Buffalo to keep pace with the Washington Capitals, and remain four points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets.
Carolina Hurricanes 1, Columbus Blue Jackets 5
The Blue Jackets did the Jets a favour by making sure the Carolina Hurricanes remain well back of the main playoff hunt. Carolina remains as the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference with 75 points, three behind the Winnipeg Jets in 10th.
TONIGHT'S KEY MATCH-UPS:
Minnesota Wild at Buffalo Sabres (6:00 PM)
The Sabres head straight home on Friday night to host the Minnesota Wild in game two of a back-to-back, and their third game in four nights. Buffalo has remained red-hot in the last little while and hope to continue that streak in a rare visit from the Minnesota Wild. After a great start to their season, the Wild have struggled in the second half of the 2011-2012 season.
Ideal Jets Outcome: Wild Win
Winnipeg Jets at Nashville Predators (6:00 PM)
Once again the Jets have the perfect opportunity to gain ground in the playoff race by grabbing a win. Winnipeg will look to build off the momentum they created in the third period of Friday's win over the Washington Capitals.
It's a rare cross-conference game on Saturday night as the Jets travel to the music city. This is the first and only match-up between the Predators and Jets this season, but the two squads did face each other in the pre-season. Nashville took both of their pre-season games, a 4-3 decision in Nashville on September 24, 2011, and a 3-2 shootout win in Winnipeg on September 30th.
Ideal Jets Outcome: Jets Win!
- Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars (1:00 PM)
- New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs (6:00 PM)
- Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators (6:00 PM)
- Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers (6:00 PM)
- New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning (6:00 PM)
- Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings (6:00 PM)
- Boston Bruins at Los Angeles Kings (8:00 PM)
- Vancouver Canucks at Colorado Avlanche (9:00 PM)
- Phoenix Coyotes at San Jose Sharks (9:00 PM)