Evander Kane and the Jets will be fighting for their playoff lives Tuesday as they play host to Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning at the MTS Centre.
Winnipeg is looking to extend its current three game win streak in which they have outscored opponents 15 to 4. The Jets have won two of three meetings with the Bolts this season but will need to stay sharp as they fight to gain ground on the Southeast leading Washington Capitals.
Oddsmakers have been charging a premium on the Jets at home all season after the club’s impressive 23-13-5 home record in its inaugural season north of the border (2011-12) and while that cost bettors through the first two months (4-5 SU), Winnipeg has turned things around. In March the Jets were 4-4 at home with wins against the Leafs, Rangers, Bruins and Lightning and since the calendar flipped to April the Jets are a perfect 3-0. The current line on tonight’s contest is Winnipeg -145 and 5.5 Over (-119).
The Jets’ penalty kill is firing on all cylinders, going eight for eight the past three games but one of the keys to tonight’s game will be avoiding the sin bin altogether. Tampa’s power play ranks 13th overall (19.2-percent) and even through their latest losing streak, has managed to light the lamp six times on 16 tries.
When the Bolts laid an 8-3 beating on the Jets Feb. 1, Tampa was three for eight with the man advantage but in the two more recent games Winnipeg played a more disciplined style, killing nine of 10 opportunities.
REST vs. RUST
Days off have been few and far between for NHL clubs as the league scrambled this season to make up lost time from its lockout. Sports Database allows bettors to research hundreds of scenarios and by using the simple link below, we can see how all teams this year have fared based on number of rest days and site:
Teams on exactly three days of rest are 24-16 this season but four-plus days of rest seems to be the tipping point. Road teams with four-plus days of rest are 0-2 with 1 under and 1 push while home sides on extended rest show a 1-6 record with 4 overs and 3 unders.
Fans at the MTS Centre will surely help create a playoff atmosphere for the Jets but extending winning streaks has been no easy task for Claude Noel’s group. Since January, 2012 the Jets are 5-12 after two-straight wins and since relocating to Winnipeg, their record after three consecutive wins is just 1-7.
Winnipeg was outscored 4.5 to 2.4 in those eight games and six of eight sailed over the total. Home teams this year on three or more days of rest are 14-9-4 to the “Over” and as the Jets lay it on the line; we’re backing this game to reach six-plus goals.
Pick: Take the Over