A huge Western Conference battle will take place this evening at the MTS Bell Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba as the San Jose Sharks duke it out with the Winnipeg Jets. The Sharks enter this game off a 3-0 win over the Wild on the road, while the Jets are off a 3-1 loss to the Caps on the road.
Sharks Blank Wild, Take Over First In Pacific
The San Jose Sharks have been red-hot of late as they enter this game having won their last five games in a row after taking out the Minnesota Wild on the road by a score of 3-0. Martin Jones had the big game as he stopped all 24 shots that he faced to for his 3rd shutout of the year and the 22nd of his career. Jones is now at 34-18 with a 2.83 GAA on the year. Aaron Dell will get the nod in this one and he has gone 8-9 with a 3.01 GAA on the year, including 5-7 with a 3.61 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 2-1 with a 3.33 GAA against the Jets.
San Jose has outscored their last four opponents by a count of 16-6 and they have taken over the top spot in the Pacific Division by one point over the struggling Calgary Flames. Keep an eye on the Sharks the rest of the way. Scoring in the win over the Wild was Barclay Goodrow, which was his 6th of the year, Tomas Hertl, which was his 31st and Logan Couture, which was his 24th. The Sharks have gone 18-17 on the road and they have averaged 3.51 gpg and have allowed 3.51 gpg in those games. San Jose enters this game ranked 4th in the league in power play conversions at 25.4% and 11th in penalty kill at 81.1%.
Jets Couldn’t keep Momentum Going
The Winnipeg Jets have been a bit inconsistent of late as they have gone just 4-6 over their last 10 games. They did grab a nice 8-1 road win over a hot Carolina team, but couldn’t keep the momentum going from that win as they fell to the Caps on the road by a score of 3-1 in their next game. The Jets still lead the Central Division by one point over the Nashville Predators and they are now tasked with taking down the red-hot Sharks in this one. The Jets will be in the postseason this year, but it is a matter of being a number one seed in the West or a number three seed. A win in this game would be huge for them. Scoring their lone goal against the Caps was Mathieu Perreault, which was his 12th of the year.
Absorbing the loss to the Capitals was Connor Hellebuyck, who allowed two goals on 17 shot attempts, to fall to 28-21 with a 2.97 GAA on the year, while here at home he has gone 16-10 with a 2.88 GAA. In his career, he has gone 4-3 with a 2.35 GAA against the Sharks. Winnipeg has gone 22-12 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.79 gpg and have allowed 2.79 gpg in those games. The Jets check in ranked 5th in power play conversions at 25.1% and 24th in penalty kill at 78.8%.
- 21-6 in their last 27 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation
- 40-19 in their last 59 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game
San Jose is:
- 9-23 in their last 32 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- The Over is 11-3-1 in Sharks last 15 games as a road underdog