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Winnipeg Jets vs. New York Islanders - 3/4/14

New York Islanders (23-32-8) at Winnipeg Jets (30-26-6)

NHL Hockey: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 8:00 pm (MTS Centre)

The Line: Winnipeg Jets -163 / New York Islanders +148 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds

TV:

The Winnipeg Jets are right in the hunt for the final wild card berth as we head down the stretch here in the month of March. At 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and winners of two straight the Jets are getting hot at the right time and are looking to take advantage of some other clubs in the Western Conference that are struggling. The Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes can't win games right now in the Pacific Division and despite Minnesota's solid play of late and throughout the season they're still a club that can very much be had as well. Winnipeg took down the Coyotes on Thursday night in their first game out of the Olympic break and they followed it up with another tight win on Saturday against the Nashville Predators. Olli Jokinen and Andrew Ladd scored second period goals for the Jets and Devin Setoguchi added one late in the third after the Predators had cut the deficit in half to lift Winnipeg to the 3-1 win. Tuesday night starts a three game home stand for the Jets but they need to find a way to get a win against the debacle that is the New York Islanders because there are tougher games ahead. The next eight games for the Jets after the Islanders come to town are extremely difficult so they can't afford to give up points against a bottom feeder like New York. Without John Tavares this Islanders club just doesn't have a chance on most nights. Thomas Vanek is doing his best to audition for potential suitors and Tuesday night should be his last night in an Islanders sweater if he's not traded before the puck drops. New York found a way to get an overtime win against the Maple Leafs coming out of the break but then were whitewashed by the New Jersey Devils 6-1 and followed that up by blowing a lead against the Florida Panthers in a 5-3 loss. Vanek scored twice in the opening period and Ryan Strome's second period goal gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead heading into the third period. But the Panthers scored four times on Anders Nilsson in the third to lift the Panthers to the come from behind victory. Garth Snow still hasn't figured out that he needs to build this team from the back forward until they'll truly have a chance to compete on an annual basis. Tuesday night they'll go into the MTS Centre for what should be as close to a playoff game as they're going to see this season. The problem for New York is they've got to take on a Jets team that knows how important these points are and can't afford to let them slip away. 

Winnipeg Jets vs. New York Islanders - 3/4/14

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Winnipeg -163

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