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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
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Game Preview: Jets vs Hurricanes
The Jets homestand continues with the Carolina Hurricanes, Thursday night.

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 ANA 50 32 12 6 147 134 70
2 NSH 48 31 11 6 145 115 68
3 STL 48 31 13 4 156 117 66
4 CHI 49 31 16 2 155 113 64
5 WPG 50 26 16 8 140 127 60
6 SJS 49 26 17 6 137 135 58
7 VAN 47 27 17 3 129 120 57
8 CGY 49 26 20 3 140 127 55
9 LAK 48 21 15 12 133 129 54
10 COL 50 21 18 11 131 141 53
11 DAL 48 22 19 7 152 157 51
12 MIN 48 22 20 6 131 138 50
13 ARI 49 17 26 6 113 168 40
14 EDM 49 13 27 9 113 162 35

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Ladd 50 17 23 9 40
B. Little 50 18 20 9 38
B. Wheeler 50 13 23 10 36
D. Byfuglien 50 12 21 8 33
M. Perreault 47 17 14 0 31
M. Frolik 50 10 17 6 27
M. Scheifele 50 7 20 3 27
E. Kane 35 10 12 3 22
A. Lowry 49 6 9 3 15
J. Trouba 34 5 9 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 14 5 2 .932 2.00
O. Pavelec 12 11 6 .911 2.52
 
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