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Game Preview: Jets vs Hurricanes

The Jets homestand continues with the Carolina Hurricanes, Thursday night.

Thursday, 18.04.2013 / 10:22 AM / Preview
Winnipeg Jets

Andrew Ladd has been at the center of the Winnipeg Jets' playoff push.

Another big effort by the captain could help end one of his former team's postseason chances.

Ladd and the Jets will try to extend their season-best winning streak to five Thursday night when they host the Carolina Hurricanes.

With team highs of four goals and eight points during the win streak, Ladd is doing all he can to help secure the franchise's second playoff appearance and first since 2007 when it was based in Atlanta.

Winnipeg (22-19-2), which last won five straight during a six-game run Nov. 19-30, 2010, is tied with the New York Rangers for eighth in the Eastern Conference with 46 points. The Rangers, though, have a game in hand.

The Jets are also within four points of Washington for the Southeast Division lead, and those clubs face off once more - Tuesday in the nation's capital.

Ladd had two goals Tuesday and scored in the shootout to give Winnipeg a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay.

"He's our leader in the dressing room and he leads us on the ice," said Bryan Little, who assisted on Ladd's first goal and has seven points over the past four games. "He really took tonight serious. He went out there and put us on his back and he did a great job.

"When he's going, I think he's one of the better players in the league."

The Hurricanes felt the same way about Ladd when they drafted him fourth overall in 2004. He played in 17 of the team's 25 postseason contests during its run to the Stanley Cup finals as a rookie in 2006 but would get traded to Chicago two years later.

Carolina (17-23-2) has been back to the postseason just once since then - losing to Pittsburgh in the 2009 East finals - and is on the verge of being ousted from playoff contention this season. If they fail to secure a point and either Winnipeg or New York picks up one Wednesday, the Hurricanes will be officially eliminated.

They're in this position due to a 2-14-1 skid, though one of those victories was a 3-1 win at Winnipeg on March 30. The other was a 4-2 victory over Boston on Saturday, but Carolina followed that with Tuesday's 3-2 defeat in Ottawa.

However, the team showed some fight in the latest loss. After Jeff Skinner was knocked out of the game on a hit by Jared Cowen, the Hurricanes came to the defense of their teammate. Chad LaRose and Kevin Westgarth both fought the Senators defenseman.

"If you mess with one of us you get all of us," Westgarth said. "That's where we are right now and it's a really important thing for a hockey club and it's good to see.

"We would have liked to have beaten them down on the scoreboard, too, but unfortunately we weren't able to get it done."

Due to the hit, Skinner will not be available Thursday when the Hurricanes try to end a four-game skid outside Raleigh that started following last month's victory at Winnipeg.

That was the second of a season-worst five straight defeats for the Jets. They netted six goals during that slide but have since outscored opponents 18-7 through four games of a six-game homestand.

The Jets' last five-game home winning streak spanned Dec. 1-13, 2011.

Ladd has four goals and four assists in nine games in Raleigh since leaving the Hurricanes, winning five of his last six visits.

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