Munz: Jets open four-game road trip against Panthers
3/5/2013 1:18:06 PM
The Winnipeg Jets (10-10-1) open a four-game road trip tonight against the Florida Panthers (6-11-5).
Ondrej Pavelec will start his 10th consecutive game in goal for the Jets.
Kyle Wellwood and Antti Miettinen return to the lineup. Miettinen, who has played just 17 seconds this season, replaces the injured Anthony Peluso. Wellwood, who has been a healthy scratch for the past four games, will play in place of Chris Thorburn. According to head coach Claude Noel, Thorburn is "just the odd man out tonight."
Dustin Byfuglien is a game-time decision. He returned home for a family funeral and is arriving in Sunrise Tuesday afternoon. If he doesn't play, Derek Meech will make his regular season debut. Noel says he's not concerned if Meech plays, as he has 128 games of NHL experience.
Jets Projected Lines:
The Jets are 1-1 against the Panthers this season. Florida has outscored them 8-6 in those games. Tomas Fleischmann leads the Panthers with one goal and three assists against the Jets. Blake Wheeler is Winnipeg's top scorer against Florida with a goal and two assists. The Panthers are also 3/8 on the power play against Winnipeg.
Florida is coming off back-to-back losses to Carolina Saturday and Sunday. They have just two wins in their last 12 games.
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon addressed the media this morning to update their injuries:
Stephen Weiss - done for the year
Jose Theodore - 4 to 6 weeks
Mike Weaver - 4 to 5 weeks
Dmitry Kulikov - 3 to 4 weeks
Scottie Upshall -week to 10 days minimum
Ed Jovanovski - week to 10 days minimum
Kris Versteeg - day to day, hopeful for Friday vs the Jets
Jacob Markstrom will start his third game of the season in goal for the Panthers.
Tallon said "this is now Markstrom's team, let's go and see if he can do it".
Jon Rheault was recalled today from the AHL's San Antonio Rampage and will make his NHL debut tonight.
Panthers Projected Lines:
Following tonight's game, the Jets fly to Tampa in preparation for Thursday's game against the Lightning (6:30CT on TSN 1290/TSN Jets).