Jets and Hurricanes clash in Raleigh

A pair of Southeast rivals meet again tonight at RBC Center, where the homestanding Carolina Hurricanes will take on the Winnipeg Jets in a battle of bottom feeders in the division.

Winnipeg handed Carolina a 5-3 defeat on Oct. 22 thanks to a goal and an assist from Kyle Wellwood. Alexander Burmistrov, Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd and Jim Slater each had a goal in a winning cause. Tonight's contest is the second of six matchups between the teams this year.

The Jets had won three in a row following a five-game losing streak, but fell back into the loss column with Wednesday's 4-3 overtime setback at Washington in the opener of a three-game road trip. Jason Chimera scored the game-winning goal 1:52 into overtime, beating Ondrej Pavelec, who stopped 33 shots in his career-best 13th straight start.

"I thought we played a pretty decent game," said Jets coach Claude Noel. "I think the character of our team has shown that they want to win the game and they battle to win the game."

Ladd and Wellwood both had a goal and an assist, while Bryan Little scored in a losing effort. Winnipeg has lost five straight on the road and is 3-6-4 as the guest this season. It will also visit Boston on the trek.

Pavelec is 6-4-3 during his current run between the pipes. Backup netminder Chris Mason is expected to start in either tonight's game or Saturday's test in Boston.

Carolina is in the midst of playing two straight and five of six games as the host, and is coming off Wednesday's 4-3 shootout loss to Montreal.

Brandon Sutter and Jiri Tlusty each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who had their modest two-game winning streak snapped. Anthony Stewart also scored in defeat.

"We have parts of our game that we just have to try to improve," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice.

Cam Ward made 31 saves for the Hurricanes, who are 5-5-2 at home and will open a three-game homestand after paying a quick visit to Ottawa on Sunday. The Canes picked up a point for the third straight game, matching their longest streak of the season. Defenseman Joni Pitkanen has missed seven straight games with a lower-body injury and is questionable for Friday.

The Hurricanes have taken six of the last eight encounters with the Jets, who were known as the Atlanta Thrashers prior to this season.