Jets look to improve playoff chances in clash with Canucks

( - The Winnipeg Jets will try to boost their playoff odds by matching the longest winning streak in franchise history when they visit the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

The Jets have won five in a row to tie a season high and also equal the longest winning streak since the franchise relocated from Atlanta to Winnipeg prior to the 2011-12 season. The club can match an overall club record for longest winning streak tonight. The Atlanta Thrashers won six in a row twice, with the last time coming from Nov. 19-30, 2010.

Another victory also would help Winnipeg's postseason chances, as the club fights to earn a spot in the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history. The Thrashers made the postseason back in 2007 before getting promptly swept out of the first round by the New York Rangers.

The Jets' 4-1 victory in Edmonton on Monday has the team at 88 points, which is good for a four-point lead over Los Angeles for the last wild card spot in the Western Conference. Winnipeg has nine games left in the regular season, while the Kings have 10 remaining tilts on their schedule and visit the Rangers this evening.

Winnipeg also is a point behind the Minnesota Wild for the first wild card. The Wild are on the road against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Ondrej Pavelec stopped 33 shots to anchor last night's win over the Oilers, while Drew Stafford, Lee Stempniak, Tyler Myers and Michael Frolik all scored for the Jets, who also won five in a row from Jan. 13-21.

"The guys in front of me played really well and we got the win so that's most important," Pavelec said.

Tonight's contest wraps up a brief two-game swing before the Jets head back to Winnipeg for a four-game stay at MTS Centre. The club is 18-12-7 on the road this season.

The Canucks, meanwhile, have won two straight and four of their last five tilts. They recently won both parts of a quick two-game road trip, picking up victories in Los Angeles and Arizona.

Vancouver, which also has won six of eight, enters tonight in second place in the Pacific Division and is two points ahead of Calgary and four in front of the fourth-place Kings.

The Canucks recorded a 4-1 win over the Kings on Saturday before beating the Coyotes by a 3-1 count the following day.

Alexander Edler's power-play goal with 3:13 left in regulation broke a 1-1 tie in the desert and Henrik Sedin added an empty-netter a little over two minutes later to seal the win for the visitors.

Yannick Weber also lit the lamp for the Canucks, while Jacob Markstrom made 24 saves in his first start since March 3.

"I thought we played pretty smart," Vancouver head coach Willie Desjardins said. "Other than a few minutes in the third period where things opened up, we played pretty well."

The Canucks are kicking off a three-game homestand tonight and also will face Colorado and Dallas during the stay at Rogers Arena. They own a 20-14-1 mark as the host this season.

The Jets have lost five straight in Vancouver and the club's last road win over the Canucks came on Feb. 13, 2004, when the franchise was known as the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Canucks have won two straight and six of seven overall in the series.

Eddie Lack is expected to start tonight for Vancouver and is 3-1-0 with a 2.36 goals against average in his career versus Winnipeg.

Michael Hutchinson could give Pavelec a breather on Tuesday, but he has never faced the Canucks. Pavelec, who was named the NHL's First Star for last week, is just 1-3-2 with a 2.81 GAA in his career against the Canucks.