Clinging to their slim playoff chances — Sports Club Stats has them at 0.1 percent — the Jets will be without third-leading scorer Dustin Byfuglien and starting netminder Ondrej Pavelec tonight against Colorado.
Byfuglien is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, according to head coach Paul Maurice. The defenseman-turned-forward-turned-defenseman-turned-forward is having a solid scoring campaign, and is one goal and point shy of matching his career highs (20 and 53, respectively).
Pavelec, also dealing with a lower-body injury, hasn’t played since getting hooked in a 4-2 loss to the Rangers last Friday. Backup Al Montoya has started the last two games and will get his third in a row tonight.
The Jets come into tonight’s action six points back of Phoenix for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, and could pass Vancouver in the standings with a win, should the Canucks falter against Nashville.
At this point, it’s pretty much win or bust for the Jets — they have just two more home games left (tonight against the Avs, Saturday against the ‘Canes) before embarking on a five-game road swing through Dallas, San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Phoenix.
After that trip, Winnipeg returns home… to host the Pittsburgh Penguins.