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Game Preview: Jets vs Bruins

The Jets are back at home to take on the Boston Bruins Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 19.03.2013 / 10:31 AM / Preview
NHL.com

With the lockout-shortened season winding down and playoff races heating up, the condensed schedule is beginning to take its toll on the Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets.

Neither team will be getting much of a break anytime soon, either.

Boston looks to avoid a third consecutive road loss Tuesday night by earning a third straight win over Winnipeg, which begins a four-game homestand.

The Bruins and Jets capped stretches of playing three games in four days with losses Sunday, as both teams cited fatigue.

Boston (19-5-3) had won five of six before falling 2-1 at Pittsburgh. The Bruins outshot the Eastern Conference-leading Penguins 32-18, but couldn't muster more than Tyler Seguin's first-period goal.

"I'm not disappointed in our effort," coach Claude Julien said. "It's our third game in four days. I thought we competed hard, I thought we had a chance to win."

Boston is one point behind rival Montreal for the Northeast Division lead and just three behind Pittsburgh, but it has a difficult road ahead. The Bruins, who opened a four-game road trip Sunday, play their next five contests against teams currently in playoff position. That stretch ends March 27 at home versus the Canadiens.

"It's a bit of a grueling schedule right now, but at the same time, you've got to find a way to come through and continue to battle," said Brad Marchand, who has a team-high 12 goals but none in the past seven games. "Every point matters."

The same goes for the Jets (15-12-2), who are involved in a tight race for the Southeast Division lead with Carolina. They went 5-0-1 over their previous six before falling 4-1 at Ottawa on Sunday, allowing two power-play goals after killing all 28 penalties over their previous 11 contests.

"I think the fact we played three games in four days and not really playing with enough of four lines really caught up with us," coach Claude Noel said. "I can't fault the players for their effort. (Fatigue) was a factor, no doubt."

Defenseman Zach Bogosian scored the lone goal for Winnipeg, which now begins another stretch of three games in four nights. After facing Boston, it hosts Washington on Thursday and Friday before ending their homestand versus Tampa Bay on Sunday.

"We need to make sure we're ready to play right away," Bogosian said. "We can't get down on ourselves. We've been playing good hockey as of late and we just need to make sure we're ready for the next game."

Bogosian also lauded the effort of Ondrej Pavelec, who made 38 saves Sunday. He had gone 4-0-1 with a 2.10 goals-against average prior to that defeat, though it's unclear if he'll be in net again Tuesday.

"He keeps us in it every game," Bogosian said. "He battles back there and it seems like every year he's getting better and better. He's what's driving our team right now."

Pavelec has a 1.94 GAA in two matchups with Boston this season but lost both, 2-1 in a shootout Jan. 21 and 3-2 on Feb. 17. Marchand scored the game-winner in the third period of that last meeting and also had a goal in the first one.

Tuukka Rask, whose 1.92 GAA is among the league leaders, opposed Pavelec in each matchup and improved to 7-3-0 with a 2.08 in 10 career starts versus the Winnipeg franchise.

Boston, which may be without forward David Krejci after he left Sunday's loss with an apparent lower-body injury, has won 16 of the last 20 meetings.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Wheeler 82 28 41 4 69
B. Little 82 23 41 8 64
D. Byfuglien 78 20 36 -20 56
A. Ladd 78 23 31 8 54
O. Jokinen 82 18 25 -8 43
M. Frolik 81 15 27 8 42
E. Kane 63 19 22 -7 41
M. Scheifele 63 13 21 9 34
T. Enstrom 82 10 20 -9 30
J. Trouba 65 10 19 4 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Montoya 13 8 3 .920 2.30
O. Pavelec 22 26 7 .901 3.01