The Winnipeg Jets woke up Saturday morning in first place in the Western Conference, but there is not a lot of celebrating entering Sunday’s home contest against the Ottawa Senators. The Jets, who have never won a playoff game in franchise history, improved to 8-0-1 in their last nine home games with a 7-4 victory over Vegas on Friday thanks to three power-play goals and continued production from all four lines.
“We’re enjoying winning, which is kind of new to our group, but we’re not fitting ourselves for rings or anything like that,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler told reporters after recording three points in Friday’s victory. The Senators snapped a seven-game losing streak Friday, upending the New York Islanders 6-5 as Ryan Dzingel scored twice. “We’re very happy about the resiliency and getting through tough times,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher told the media afterward. Mike Condon came on after Craig Anderson allowed five goals on 18 shots and shut out the Islanders the rest of the way.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TVA (Ottawa), Sportsnet (Winnipeg)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (9-9-6): Ottawa entered Friday with just one goal in its previous 27 power-play chances, but converted 2-of-3 opportunities against the Islanders. Defenseman Thomas Chabot, playing in just his seventh NHL game, scored his first career goal and added two assists. Forward Bobby Ryan was slashed on the hand Friday and his status for Sunday is unknown.
ABOUT THE JETS (16-6-4): Center Mark Scheifele recorded three points Friday and is tied for fourth in the NHL in points (13 goals, 32 points), one point ahead of Wheeler entering Saturday. Forward Patrik Laine also finished with three points on Friday, finishing with one goal and two assists. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is 14-2-3 and ranks ninth in the NHL in goals against average (2.43).
1. Ottawa D Erik Karlsson has not recorded a point in eight consecutive games, matching the longest pointless streak of his career.
2. The Jets finished 44-of-73 on faceoffs Friday, setting season highs for percentage and faceoff wins.
3. The Senators claimed F Chris DiDomenico from Tampa Bay on Saturday, nine days after the team waived the 28-year-old.
PREDICTION: Jets 5, Senators 2