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Game Preview: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Winnipeg Jets

After a rare few days of rest, the Hurricanes start their playoff push in earnest tonight against the Winnipeg Jets.

So the last time the Hurricanes played the Jets, this happened.
So the last time the Hurricanes played the Jets, this happened.
Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Winnipeg Jets
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 7:00 pm EST
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas HD Radio - 99.9 The Fan

SB Nation Jets Blog: Arctic Ice Hockey (twitter @arcticicehockey)

Hurricanes Record: 15-13-2 (32 pts.)
Jets Record: 17-14-2 (36 pts.)

Tonight's game is the second of four between the Hurricanes and the Jets. The Jets took the first game 4-3 at PNC Arena on February 21st. The Canes meet the Jets again on Saturday in Winnipeg and will wrap up their regular season series there on April 18th.

Hurricanes Notes

The Hurricanes last played on Thursday night and were defeated at home 4-1 by the New Jersey Devils. After leading the Southeast Division for a number of weeks, the Hurricanes have gone winless in their last five games (0-4-1) and are now in 9th place in the Eastern Conference.

After sustaining injuries in the game against the Devils Thursday night, goaltender Dan Ellis (lower body) and defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti (upper body) have been placed on IR.

Joe Corvo has been re-activated from IR and will be back in the line-up.

Goaltender John Muse was recalled from Charlotte yesterday and will make his NHL debut tonight backing up Justin Peters in net.

Chad LaRose (concussion) participated in a full practice session on Monday but has not been activated from IR. Justin Faulk (IR, knee) and Cam Ward (IR, knee) also remain out of the line-up.

Forward Riley Nash was assigned to Charlotte on Friday and joined the team for Saturday night's game against the Texas Stars (and scored two goals in a 4-2 win). He was recalled yesterday and was back with the team for practice.

The Hurricanes did not practice on Saturday or Sunday but held a lengthy practice on Monday with five full forward lines. Following are the offensive and defensive lines that skated:

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin
Jeff Skinnter - Jordan Staal - Chad LaRose
Tuomo Ruutu - Riley Nash - Patrick Dwyer
Drayson Bowman - Jussi Jokinen - Tim Wallace
Kevin Westgarth - Tim Brent - Adam Hall

Tim Gleason - Joe Corvo
Joni Pitkanen - Jamie McBain
Jay Harrison - Brett Bellemore

Justin Peters
John Muse (recalled after practice)

After signing a five-year, $35m extension yesterday, forward Alexander Semin will start in his 500th NHL game tonight.

Jets Notes

The Jets are currently leading the Southeast Division and are third in the Eastern Conference. After suffering back-to-back home losses against the Washington Capitals, they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in Winnipeg on Sunday.

The Jets are leading the division by four points, but the Hurricanes have three games in hand.

Andrew Ladd (32 points) and Blake Wheeler (28 points) lead the Jets goal scoring with 14 goals each. Both Ladd and Wheeler scored against the Hurricanes in their first meeting.

Ondrej Pavelec has a 14-14-2 record with a 2.81 GAA and .902 save percentage. He is 4-6-2 in career appearances against the Hurricanes with a 3.96 GAA. Al Montoya has a 3-0-0 record with a 2.68 GAA and .896 save percentage and one shutout. He is 0-1-1 with a 2.93 GAA in two games against the Hurricanes.

Defensemen Mark Stuart (upper body) and Ron Hainsey (hand) are questionable for tonight's game. Forwards Anthony Peluso (hand), Jim Slater (upper body), and James Wright (upper body) and defenseman Zach Redmond (leg) are all on injured reserve.

Jets depth chart (from team website):

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane - Antti Miettinen - Olli Jokinen
Chris Thorburn - Kyle Wellwood - Nik Antropov
Patrice Cormier - Alexander Burmistrov - Eric Tangradi

Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien
Grant Clitsome - Zach Bogosian
Paul Postma - Derek Meech

Ondrej Pavelec
Al Montoya

The game thread will be open at 6:30 pm.