The Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators will try to bounce back from recent losses when they meet on Saturday night in the Canadian capital city.
The Senators are coming off a 4-1 road loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night, giving the teams a split of a head-and-head set over a three-day span.
The Jets have dropped consecutive 4-1 decisions on the road, on Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs and on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens.
Ottawa got its lone goal on Friday from Brady Tkachuk, while Cam Talbot stopped 40 of 44 shots in the loss.
The Senators’ offense had quantity but couldn’t find enough quality. Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry made 44 saves on 45 shots in his first game since getting injured on Jan. 2 in the NHL Winter Classic at Boston.
“We’re just trying to put our head down and play the entire game,” Ottawa forward Derick Brassard said. “We played a good team. We were expecting a big push from them. We beat them last game. …
“The bottom line is they capitalized on their chances, and we didn’t put the puck in the net. … It’s just frustrating when you’re shooting so much and have chances.”
Senators coach D.J. Smith added, “The guys, they kept pushing. They tried. I thought if you look at the chances, Jarry made some unreal saves. If he’s not as hot as he is tonight, we probably get a bunch more.”
While the Senators were playing in Pittsburgh on Friday, the Jets had an off-day practice at home.
The Senators have produced just four goals in their past three games. Their only tallies in the past two contests came on a pair of power-play blasts by Kyle Connor.
Even with those two goals, the 200th and 201st of his NHL career, Connor compiled a combined minus-7 rating over the past two games, which is a strong encapsulation of the current play of the team.
“Losing is not fun,” Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois said, who has just one goal in the past seven games. “We say that good teams don’t lose two in a row, and that’s two in a row. We’ve looked at our past couple of seven or eight games here, and it’s not the hockey that we’ve played all year that’s made us successful.
“Sometimes you’re lucky enough with a goalie like that to get a win even if you don’t play your best. We know that kind of hides sometimes the mistakes that you make. Right now, (Connor) Hellebuyck is still giving us a chance to win, but we can do a lot better out there.”
Hellebuyck is expected to be back in net for the Jets on Saturday. The goalie, who was named to the Central Division team for the NHL All-Star Game on Thursday, has a .923 save percentage and a 2.43 goals against average in 35 games.
Anton Forsberg likely will be in net for Ottawa on Saturday after Talbot got the nod on Friday. Forsberg has a .902 save percentage and 3.25 GAA in 22 starts.
–Field Level Media