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

Hurricanes Flyers Hockey
Canes Corner Podcast: Can Carolina right the ship?

Fox Sports Carolinas play-by-play announcer John Forslund joins Mike Maniscalco after Carolina's sixth consecutive loss.

Related Stories
  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Saturday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Toronto

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. UConn

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
 
Final
CLE 98
ATL 127
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
DET 106
DAL 117
Final
BOS 109
ORL 92
Final
MIA 87
UTA 105
Final
TOR 105
BRK 89
Final
SAN 116
MEM 117
Final
POR 104
MIL 97
Final
DEN 111
HOU 115
Final
LAC 102
IND 100
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
HOU
NOP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
MIL
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
OKC
 
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
Final
MSST 55
ARKST 69
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
Final
WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
Final
HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
Final
JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
Final
ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
Final
BST 52
JMU 72
 
Final
YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
Final
UMO 71
LONG 60
 
Final
PITT 65
MAN 56
Final
OSU 97
NCAT 55
Final
FSU 93
UNF 77
 
Final
TOL 83
RMU 57
 
Final
CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
Final
DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
Final
UCF 75
DET 70
Final
UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
Final
LOYC 83
ABCHRIST 44
 
Final
MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
Final
HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
Final
NW 67
CMICH 80
Final
WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
Final
ODU 58
UGST 54
Final
SMU 67
ILLCH 46
Final
LALAF 115
MLGN 76
 
Final
TULSA 74
MIZST 70
Final
UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
Final
NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
Final
TTU 101
SCST 39
 
Final
DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
Final
STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
Final
STLU 75
TXPA 69
 
Final
MEM 83
USCU 73
 
Final
ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
Final
MSU 66
EMICH 46
Final
GRCN 80
INCWORD 82
 
Final
STAN 67
LMU 58
Final
BAY 66
NMST 55
 
Final
CIN 71
SDST 62
Final
AUB 80
WINT 62
 
Final
NMU 76
CARK 55
 
Final
PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
Final
CPSL 60
NE 58
 
Final
UNLV 75
PORT 73
Final
OREG 79
CSNO 56
Final
WASH 86
GRAM 38
12:30pm Today
RICE
STTHOMASTX
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
STET
GSOUT
 
7:00pm Tonight
QUIN
LEH
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLA
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RICH
SALA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
DEL
TEMPL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WCU
WRST
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
YALE
 
7:30pm Tonight
SDKST
IDST
 
7:30pm Tonight
RIDE
MRGST
 
7:30pm Tonight
LATU
NICST
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHAR
APP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
CCAR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
EUREK
 
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
OAKC
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
SMISS
 
8:30pm Tonight
SD
MNTST
 
9:00pm Tonight
UAB
LSU
 
9:05pm Tonight
EVAN
OHIO
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
CSDH
 
10:00pm Tonight
ORST
DEP
 
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
NEV
 
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PORST
 
10:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
WALLA
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
CALST
 
Final
NJD 0
OTT 2
Final
MIN 2
BOS 3
Final
VAN 0
DAL 2
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
ANA
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
EDM
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
STL
 
8:25pm Tonight
JAC
TEN