Jets-Senators Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 17, 2013
The last time these clubs met, the Winnipeg Jets ended the Ottawa Senators' six-game home points streak. The Southeast Division-leading Jets can do that again. Winnipeg will also go for its first seven-game points streak in six seasons on Sunday when it faces a Senators club that could tie a league record for consecutive one-goal games. After the visiting Senators (14-8-6) spoiled their season opener with a 4-1 victory on Jan. 19, the Jets (15-11-2) won 1-0 on Feb. 9 - their second consecutive shutout in Ottawa - behind backup Al Montoya's 33 saves and a goal from Alexei Ponikarovsky. That is the Senators' only regulation home loss. They are 9-1-3 at Scotiabank Place. Winnipeg arrives on a season-best 5-0-1 points streak after defenseman Zach Bogosian scored in the 10th round of the shootout in Saturday's 5-4 victory over Toronto. The victory - the team's season high-tying third straight - moved Winnipeg one point ahead of Carolina for first place in the division and into third in the Eastern Conference. "We've played well of late - our group is really coming together nice," said coach Claude Noel, whose team last won four straight from Dec. 1-9, 2011. "... We're happy we're at the top, at least for the time being, and puts a big price on that game tomorrow." Winnipeg gets a chance for its first seven-game points streak since a 6-0-1 stretch from Nov. 22-Dec. 5, 2006. The Senators, though, are 5-0-1 against visiting teams since that loss to the Jets. Ottawa will play at home for just the second time in nine games after winning 4-3 in OT at Buffalo on Saturday. Kyle Turris, the team leader with seven goals and 17 points, found the back of the net twice, including the game-winner, and set up a goal to help the Senators rally from a 2-0 first-period deficit. Ottawa has now played in 11 consecutive one-goal games - one shy of Chicago's NHL record in 1997-98 - with seven of those being decided after regulation. "We don't like playing 60 minutes," goaltender Ben Bishop joked after making 33 saves in his first start in four games. "We like to play a lot longer than that so it's a big win, a big road win." Bishop, who stopped 36 shots in last month's loss to Winnipeg, may have earned a second career start against the Jets. If not, Robin Lehner will face them for the first time. He's 1-0-4 with a 2.07 goals-against average since being called up from AHL last month when Craig Anderson suffered an ankle injury. Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who missed the Feb. 9 game with the flu, has lost four consecutive starts against Ottawa after getting beat by Turris, Chris Neil, Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek in the season opener. Karlsson (Achilles'), Michalek (lower-body) and Jason Spezza (back) are all sidelined, but the Senators are getting good production from defenseman Sergei Gonchar and Patrick Wiercioch. Gonchar has eight assists during a six-game points streak, while all four of Wiercioch's goals have come in the last four games. Nik Antropov, Dustin Byfuglien, who scored the Jets' lone goal on Jan. 19, Blake Wheeler and captain Andrew Ladd all have a team-best seven points during Winnipeg's points streak. Ottawa's last seven-game home points streak came during a seven-game win streak from Jan. 19-Feb. 11, 2010.
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