The Winnipeg Jets play the Tampa Bay Lightning at MTS Centre tonight. Game time is 7:30 on TSN Jets TV. The Pembina Valley Twisters, with a surprising 2-1 lead in the MMJHL championship series, play the heavily-favored Charleswood Hawks at Eric Coy Arena tonight. Justin Dalebozik was the hero as the Steinbach Pistons beat the Dauphin Kings in double overtime in Dauphin last night.
Let’s start with the Jets and Tampa tonight and then look at the big night for Manitobans in the NHL and last night…
It’s Hockey Night in Winnipeg! After four days off, the Winnipeg Jets return to action at MTS Centre as the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning come to town. Game time is 7 p.m. and it’s on TSN Jets TV. Toby Enstrom will not play tonight. He’s suffering from a lower back injury.
Here is the Jets situation: With six games remaining to play – four of them at home – in the 2013 season, the Jets stand ninth in the East. They’ve won three straight games and improved to 21-19-2 (44 points). They are two points back of the eighth-place Rangers who are 21-16-4 for 44 points and the Rangers have one game in hand. The seventh-place Islanders are 21-16-4 for 47 points and have played the same number of games as the Jets. The sixth-place Ottawa Senators are 21-14-6 for 48 points and have one game in hand.
In the Southeast Division, the Washington Capitals are now 23-17-2 for 48 points, four points ahead and they, too, have one game in hand.
There were seven games in the NHL last night. The Ottawa-at-Boston matchup was postponed due to the bombing at the Boston Marathon:
Toronto 2 New Jersey 0
James Reimer from Morweena, Man., made 32 saves to get the shutout. The Devils outshot Toronto 32-13 and still lost.
Philadelphia 7 Montreal 3
Scott Hartnell had three goals while Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists. The Habs clinched a playoff spot on April 11 and then went out and lost 5-1 to Toronto and 7-3 to Philly.
Chicago 5 Dallas 2
Winnipeg’s Jonathan Toews scored his 21st goal and dished out his 23rd assist. The Hawks are now 33-5-4 and two points from clinching the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Vancouver 5 Nashville 2
Former Moose Ryan Kesler had two goals to lead the Canucks on the road.
Minnesota 4 Calgary 3
The Wild made a great trade with Buffalo. Jason Pominville scored two more goals. The Wild jumped over the St. Louis Blues and into sixth in the West.
Columbus 4 Colorado 3 (OT)
Nick Foligno scored the winning goal and added an assist to lead Columbus. Binscarth, Manitoba’s Cory McLeod scored two goals and was named the game’s first star.
San Jose 4 Phoenix 0
Antti Niemi made 35 saves to get the shutout. Tommy Wingels had a goal and an assist to lead the Sharks offense.
Besides the Jets and Tampa, there are seven other games in the NHL tonight. Four of them have huge implications for the Jets: Florida is at the New York Islanders; Carolina is at Ottawa; the New York Rangers are in Philadelphia; and Toronto is at Washington. In the other games, Vancouver is at St. Louis; Minnesota plays in Edmonton and Los Angeles is at San Jose.
Justin Dalebozik’s third goal of the game at 1:59 of the second overtime period gave the Steinbach Pistons a 4-3 victory over the Dauphin Kings in Game 5 of the best-of-seven Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Turnbull Cup championship series. With the win, Steinbach took a 3-2 series lead heading back to Steinbach for Game 6 tomorrow night. Guillaume Naud had a goal and an assist for Dauphin while Steinbach goalie Corey Koop made an incredible 49 saves to get the win. More than 1,500 are expected inside Steinbach’s tiny T.G. Smith Centre tomorrow night. Game time is 7:30.
Dan Taillefer of the Steinbach Pistons was named the Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Player of the Week. The 17-year-old forward was the hero this past Saturday, scoring the overtime winner in Game 4 of the MJHL final against Dauphin Kings. His OT winner capped a career-high three-goal game. In total, the La Broquerie product had four goals and an assist in three playoff games last week. The runners up were forward Jesse Sinatynski of the Dauphin Kings and forward Justin Augert of the Steinbach Pistons.
MANITOBA MAJOR JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Game 4 in the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League’s championship series goes tonight in Morris at 8 p.m. as the heavily-favored Charleswood Hawks, railing 2-1 in the seris, travels to face the Pembina Valley Twisters. Game 5 goes Friday night at 7:30 at Eric Coy Arena in Winnipeg.
The Peguis Juniors, a team that has won 35 consecutive games, will represent the Keystone Junior B Hockey League at the 30th annual Keystone Cup Western Junior B Hockey Championships, hosted by the St. Malo Junior B Warriors. The tournament goes April 17th to 21st at the Saint Malo Arena and will feature teams from BC , Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Check out keystonecup.ca. for ticket information.
The 2013 Allan Cup championship will run from April 15-20 in Bentley, Alta. The Kenora Thistles will represent this region. Last year’s champion was Manitoba’s Southeast Prairie Thunder. The Allan Cup is emblematic of the championship of Senior A hockey in Canada. Games be viewed live on the web at Fast Hockey.