Winnipeg Jets vs. Florida Panthers - 12/20/13
Florida Panthers (14-17-5) at Winnipeg Jets (15-16-5)
NHL Hockey: Friday, December 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm (MTS Centre)
The Line: Winnipeg Jets -150 / Florida Panthers +135 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Jets will look to snap a nasty six game home slide on Friday night when the Florida Panthers visit the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
The disappointing start to the season for the Jets has spiraled out of control as of late with the club going winless in its last six games at home, the most recent of which came at the hands of the lowly Buffalo Sabres. Ondrej Pavelec has posted an embarrassing 4.04 GAA in his last five games, which makes it glaringly obvious that a large portion of the Winnipeg slide can be attributed to the goaltending. However, the Jets will get a boost on the defensive end with the return of Zach Bogosian, who has missed over a month with a lower body injury.
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In the mist of a four game Canadian road trip, the Florida Panthers will look to sweep the trip north of the border. The Panthers, winners of five straight and seven of its last eight games, have seemingly turned the corner since the start of December. Florida’s recent success began with a convincing 5-2 win over the Jets in Florida on December 5th. Tim Thomas has been sidelined with a groin injury, which has thrusted backup netminder Scott Clemmensen into the spotlight. Clemmensen has posted a 2.60 GAA this season with a 4-2-1 record for the Panthers. While Thomas is eligible to return, Celmmensen remains probable for Friday’s game.
It seems as if Peter Horachek, who took the reigns after the firing of Kevin Dineen, has this Panthers club headed in the right direction. While the Panthers have defeated some of the top teams in the Eastern Conference as of late, I just don’t have the confidence to back them against a Jets team looking to avenge the loss from earlier this month. In addition, the home team in the series is 5-1 in the last six meetings. With the Panthers playing a back-to-back on the road, and this game being the last before heading back down south, I think the Jets squeeze out a win in a tight game.