The Winnipeg Jets will shoot for their second win against the New Jersey Devils in less than a week when they host Thursday's battle at MTS Centre.
The Jets recently wrapped up an excellent five-game road trip with a 4-1-0 record and the fourth contest of that swing was in New Jersey, where Winnipeg notched a 4-2 win on Sunday. Evander Kane scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Andrew Ladd added an insurance tally in the third for the Jets, who closed the trek with a victory over the New York Rangers.
New Jersey has been idle since that loss, but the club did place starting goaltender Martin Brodeur on injured reserve in the interim. The 40-year-old netminder is dealing with a sore back, which caused Brodeur to pull himself out of the lineup prior to Sunday's game against Winnipeg.
Johan Hedberg, who surrendered four goals on 27 shots in Sunday's loss, is expected to get the start in Thursday's rematch. New Jersey recalled Keith Kinkaid from its AHL affiliate in Albany to take Brodeur's spot on the roster. Kinkaid has never made an appearance in the NHL.
Winnipeg hopes to carry some momentum back home with it after improving its road record to 6-4-1 during its recent swing. The Jets were just 14-22-5 away from the MTS Centre in 2011-12.
Kane and Olli Jokinen each scored a pair of goals to help the Jets close the trip with Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Rangers. Kane added an assist and has recorded at least a point in eight straight games, giving him the longest current point streak in the NHL. He has six goals and four assists during the run.
Anthony Peluso and Ron Hainsey each added a pair of assists for the Jets, who used a three-goal second period and a solid 30-save effort from Ondrej Pavelec to prevail.
"It was a big win," said Jokinen afterward. "Overall, this trip was good."
The Devils are going through a rough patch right now, having lost two straight and four of their last five games. As a result of the slump, Jersey currently trails Pittsburgh by two points for the top spot in the division.
New Jersey hopes three full days off can help it get back on track as it begins a three-game road trip Thursday in Winnipeg. The Devils are 4-3-2 as the guest this season and have lost two of their last three road tilts.
The Devils have won six of their last eight against the Jets/Thrashers franchise. The clubs have split two meetings in Winnipeg since the franchise relocated from Atlanta prior to the 2011-12 campaign.