The NHL is set up with a solid slate of games on Tuesday night. Five games will be up on the board for the night of January 21. One of these matchups will be between the Winnipeg Jets and the Carolina Hurricanes. Both teams are on the edge of the playoff picture in their respective conference, which should lead to a solid game. The puck will drop for this matchup at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
The Jets have started this season off with a record of 25-20-4, which has them tied for fourth place of the Central Division with the Chicago Blackhawks. Winnipeg is three points behind the Vegas Golden Knights and the Arizona Coyotes for a wild card spot. The Jets have lost two games in a row and four of their last five coming into this one. Winnipeg will look to bounce back with a nice win on Tuesday night.
Carolina has earned a record of 28-18-3 throughout this season so far. The Hurricanes are in fifth place of the Metropolitan Division. Carolina is only two points behind the New York Islanders, who are in third of the Metropolitan. The Hurricanes are one point ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers in the Metro. Carolina is in a very tight mix in their division and will look to jump up in the standings with a nice win against Winnipeg.
These two teams are very much in the playoff hunt right now. Winnipeg is sitting right outside of the playoffs, while the Hurricanes are currently in. I expect these two teams to come out quick to try and control the pace as they try and get a leg up. I believe that this could be one of the top matchups on Tuesday night.
The Jets and the Hurricanes met up twice throughout the last season. Winnipeg hosted the first game of the season series, where Josh Morrisey earned two points to help the Jets get a 3-1 win. Carolina hosted the second game of the season series, but they were dominated. Fifteen different players earned points as the Jets pulled away with an 8-1 win.
Winnipeg and Carolina already met once this season with the Jets hosting the game on December 17. Blake Wheeler earned two points for Winnipeg, but it would not be enough. Sebastian Aho scored two goals and added an assist, while Dougie Hamilton earned three assists. Petr Mrazek stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced to help the Hurricanes earn a 6-2 win over the Jets.
Winnipeg had earned four wins in a row over Carolina before this season started. The Hurricanes were able to take the first game of this season’s series with a win on the road. Now Carolina will look for the sweep over a struggling Winnipeg team. The Hurricanes have lost three of their last four games as well, but will look to get back on a streak with a win over the Jets on Tuesday night.
The Jets power play has been around the league average so far this season. Winnipeg’s power play has capitalized on 29 of their 144 chances, which is a 20.1 percent power play. The Jets penalty kill has struggled a bit this season though. Winnipeg has allowed opposing teams to score on 31 of their 123 power play chances, which is a 74.8 percent kill rate.
Carolina’s special teams have done well throughout this season. The Hurricanes power play has been able to score on 32 of their 150 attempts, which is a 21.3 percent success rate. Carolina’s penalty kill has held their opponents to 29 goals on 172 power play opportunities this season, which is an 83.1 percent penalty kill.
These two teams have been off to solid starts on the power play throughout this season. Carolina’s power play has been slightly better, which could lead to a solid night against the Jets struggling penalty kill. The Hurricanes have a strong penalty kill, but they give up a lot of power play chances, which could get the Jets power play going if they can get some momentum going.
Connor Hellebuyck will likely get the start in the crease for Winnipeg on Tuesday night. Hellebuyck has started this season with a record of 21-15-4 through his starts. He has earned a save percentage of .919 and a 2.71 GAA. Hellebuyck’s last start came against the Chicago Blackhawks, where he stopped 28 of the 32 shots against him in a loss.
I believe that Petr Mrazek will get the nod in net for the Hurricanes in this matchup. Mrazek has earned a record of 17-12-2 throughout this season. He has put up a .904 save percentage and a GAA of 2.64 through those starts. Mrazek’s last played against the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he turned away 15 of 18 shots in a losing effort.
These two goalies have had solid starts to the season, but I believe that Hellebuyck earns the edge in this matchup. Hellebuyck has had a save percentage below .900 through his last two games, while Mrazek has had a save percentage below .900 in three of his last five starts. Both goalies will look to bounce back with a big win in this matchup.
Both teams are coming into this matchup on a bit of a tough streak, but I believe that the Jets will bounce back with a win after losing to Carolina earlier in the season. If Winnipeg can get their power play going, it could give them the edge despite their poor penalty kill. Hellebuyck has done better than Mrazek and if he can get going early, it could help the Jets pull off the upset.
BetOnline has the Hurricanes listed as a -175 against the money line. This implies that Carolina will win this game around 63.6 percent of the time. I believe that with both these teams in the thick of the playoff race, this game should be much closer to even. I think Winnipeg has a good chance to earn a win in this game and as such big underdogs, they have a lot of value on Tuesday night.