Jets-Wild Preview


A lack of production on the power play has plagued the Winnipeg Jets of late.

Scoring in any situation has been a problem during the Minnesota Wild's current slide.

The Wild look to avoid a sixth consecutive loss while trying to snap a three-game skid against the visiting Jets on Thursday night.

Minnesota (25-23-8) has been outscored 15-7 during a 1-4-1 stretch that includes losses in five straight contests. The Wild mustered only 18 shots Tuesday while suffering a club-record fourth straight regulation home loss, 2-1 to Anaheim.

"We've just got to keep fighting," said coach Mike Yeo, whose team held a 1-0 lead heading into the third period. "We're still a good enough team that we should be able to win that game.

"To be a winner, you don't just show up. You have to put the work in and do things that are hard."

Beginning with a 2-1 loss at Winnipeg on Dec. 13, Minnesota has dropped 21 of 26 since opening the season 20-7-3. The Wild, who have used a league-high 39 players because of injuries and their overall offensive struggles, rank near the bottom of the NHL with 126 goals.

"It can't get any worse goal-scoring wise," said Dany Heatley, who scored his second in three games Tuesday. "We've just got to keep shooting and eventually they'll go in."

Despite the Wild's offensive issues, Heatley has recorded six of his team-high 19 goals and added four assists in his last nine games. He had an assist in the loss at Winnipeg earlier this season.

The Jets' franchise has won three in a row and four of five against the Wild, including 3-2 in the most recent meeting in Minnesota on Feb. 12, 2010.

Winnipeg's Bryan Little, who scored against the Wild in December, has two goals and two assists in four career games versus Minnesota. He has three goals in his last six overall but was held without a point as the Jets (26-26-6) fell 3-1 at home to the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Losers of two straight, the Jets are 2 of 24 on the power play while losing six of 10 overall.

"It's got to the point where we have to make some drastic moves or change some things," said coach Claude Noel, whose team went 0 for 3 with the man advantage against the Islanders. "You've got to either rejuggle, reshuffle the personnel, there's some things we have to look at.

"I don't know that it's necessarily personnel as much as decisions and stuff like that."

Winnipeg's issues on the power play are a big reason why it remains just outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

"This is what you call adversity, this is what you deal with," Noel told the Jets' official website. "How do you respond to this? This is how you measure what you've got.

"It's going to be a tough hill to climb."

Ondrej Pavelec has allowed 10 goals while losing his last two starts, but he has stopped 66 of 68 shots while going 2-0-0 versus Minnesota. He made 34 saves in the first matchup against the Wild.