banner

NHL

more stats

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, April 3rd (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (48-23-5) at Winnipeg Jets (34-33-10), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - While the Pittsburgh Penguins are nearly guaranteed of going into the playoffs as Metropolitan Division champions, their current struggles have sapped away some of the club's earlier momentum.

The Penguins look to get on track and officially wrap up the division title on Thursday night in a road matchup with the Winnipeg Jets.

Pittsburgh has shook off a number of injuries this season to rise to the top of the newly-formed Metropolitan Division. The Penguins own an 11-point lead over the second-place New York Rangers with a game in hand and are 14 points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers, who have played two fewer games than Pittsburgh.

That big lead comes despite the Penguins having lost four of their last six games and going 8-8-3 over their last 19 tests.

The Penguins take another shot at clinching the division tonight as they need just a single point or a loss of any kind by the Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh also won the Atlantic Division last season before shifting to a new division in realignment. The Penguins have claimed consecutive division titles just once before in franchise history, doing so in 1992-93 and '93-94.

They had a chance to lock up the division title on Tuesday with a victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, but instead lost a 4-1 decision.

Chris Kunitz provided the lone goal for the Penguins, his 35th of the season, but Marc-Andre Fleury allowed four goals on 28 shots as the club failed to secure a third straight win.

"We all felt like the first 10 (minutes) we were carrying the play," said Penguins forward Sidney Crosby. "The shots were pretty evident of that. For whatever reason we got away from that. Maybe we thought that came easy or thought we could get away with cheating. It didn't work."

Crosby picked up an assist on Kunitz's goal for his league-leading 100th point of the campaign. It marks the fifth time in his career he has reached the century mark in points for a season and did so for the first time since logging 109 points in 2009-10.

The Jets return home following a 2-2-1 road trip, but even that solid swing may not have been enough to save the club's postseason chances. Winnipeg is seven points back of a wild card spot with only five games left to play.

The Jets closed out their trek with a 2-1 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday. Andrew Ladd scored in regulation, then notched the only goal of the shootout.

Ladd clanked a shot off the post and in to beat Thomas Greiss in the second round of the shootout. The Jets then secured just their fourth win in their last 15 games when Phoenix's Antoine Vermette hit the post in the third round.

Ondrej Pavelec made 29 saves as the Jets rebounded to win one night after blowing a 4-0 lead in an overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

"I think it was a mental grind for a lot of guys. If we come up with that win (in Anaheim) we're looking at a 3-2 record and a pretty good trip. I think we learned a lot about ourselves this trip and it was nice to finish off this win," said Ladd.

Winnipeg was down a pair of defensemen in Zach Bogosian and Keaton Ellerby due to injury, while backup netminder Al Montoya also was out due to a lower-body issue.

The Penguins have had a ton of success versus the Jets franchise dating back to the club's time as the Atlanta Thrashers. Pittsburgh has won three straight, six of seven and 18 of the previous 21 meetings, including a 6-5 victory at home on Jan. 5.

Evgeni Malkin, currently out with a foot injury, and James Neal both notched two goals and an assist in that win, while Fleury came up with 29 saves.

Evander Kane had two goals and an assist and Montoya gave up all six goals on 39 shots for the Jets, who have dropped seven of their last 10 at home to the Penguins.

Fleury is 16-5-0 with a 2.39 goals against average in his career versus the Jets franchise, while Pavelec is just 2-11-0 with a 4.35 GAA when facing the Penguins.

Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik is scheduled to skate in his 700th NHL game tonight. He is set to become the fifth player in franchise history to reach that mark and first blueliner.

04/03 10:51:04 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Wild Hurricanes Hockey
Wild beat Hurricanes 3-1, 5th straight win

The Minnesota Wild are on such a roll that just hanging close in games might be enough for them to accomplish their mission.

Related Stories
  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big East: Seaton Hall at Georgetown

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State vs. Syracuse

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • ACC Women: Duke vs. Notre Dame

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • HSBB: Class 4A Regional Final: Teams TBD

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Duke at UNC

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 1
MIN 3
Final
CHA 103
TOR 94
Final
STL 5
HOU 2
 
Final
BOS 3
MIA 5
 
Final
TAM 2
MIN 1
 
Final
PHI 1
NYY 4
 
Final
ATL 8
WAS 9
 
Final
TOR 5
BAL 4
 
Final
NYM 5
DET 4
Final
SDP 5
CWS 0
 
Final
CHC 2
CIN 5
 
Final
CLE 9
KAN 11
 
Final
MIL 1
LOS 10
 
Final
TEX 3
SFG 12
 
Final
LOS 7
SEA 4
 
Final
ANA 3
COL 0
 
Final
ARI 2
OAK 7
 
Final
NYY 1
PIT 3
 
Final
IND 98
CHI 84
Final
WAS 99
MIA 97
Final
ORL 119
SAC 114
Final
CHA 103
TOR 94
Final
PHI 83
UTA 89
Final
ATL 106
CLE 97
Final
NOP 98
BOS 104
Final
HOU 103
DET 93
Final
MEM 97
LAL 90
Final
BRK 100
PHO 108
Final
SAN 120
DEN 111
2nd
GSW 46
DAL 37
 
Final
MVSU 75
ARKPB 94
 
Final
CSOU 60
LONG 68
 
Final
WICHS 56
SILL 45
Final
RAD 66
WINT 67
 
Final
ILLST 71
EVAN 67
Final
HIGH 71
GWEBB 72
 
Final
UNCG 81
SAMF 76
Final
ELON 74
TOWS 69
Final
KSU 79
AKR 77
 
Final
BUF 77
BGU 75
 
Final
DART 75
BRO 69
 
Final
WMICH 74
CMICH 62
 
Final
PENN 54
CLMB 46
 
Final
PRIN 66
CORN 53
 
Final
OU 69
ILLCH 72
Final
OHIO 95
UMO 65
 
Final
BST 67
NILL 71
 
Final
EMICH 85
TOL 59
 
Final
NIOWA 71
BRAD 46
Final
MURST 80
MORE 77
Final
HARV 52
YALE 62
 
Final
DREX 48
COC 56
Final
CITA 56
FUR 73
Final
CCAR 74
UNCA 57
 
Final
USF 62
PAC 58
Final
BAY 77
TTU 74
2nd
INDST 50
LOYC 74
 
2nd
CLST 69
DET 48
 
2nd
EKENT 44
BEL 37
 
11:30pm Tonight
SCU
LMU
Final
NJD 2
CLB 3
Final
CAR 1
MIN 3
Final
OTT 3
BUF 2
Final
DET 2
CAL 5
Final
CHI 2
EDM 1
 
2nd
ANA 0
PIT 2