Winnipeg Jets vs. Anaheim Ducks Pick & Prediction MARCH 23rd 2023

Stadium: Honda Center Anaheim
Logo Winnipeg Jets
Logo Anaheim Ducks

-1.5 -105
6o -120



The Anaheim Ducks will look to play spoiler at home Thursday night when they welcome the Winnipeg Jets to town.

The Jets are holding onto the final playoff spot in the Western Conference's wild-card race, while the Ducks (23-38-10, 56 points) were officially cut from postseason contention for the fifth consecutive season on Sunday.

It's not unusual for teams to loosen up once they're formally eliminated after spending most of season far out of the postseason picture. But with nothing left to lose, many teams rise up.

That, however, hasn't been the case for Anaheim so far.

With 11 games remaining, the Ducks have hit yet another skid and are losers of four of their last five.

"Obviously, not a good game for us," Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg said after Tuesday's 5-1 loss to the Calgary Flames. "We have had some spurts where we're playing some pretty good hockey, but it can't only be spurts. It's got to be throughout the whole game."

Anaheim has had terrible trouble with slow starts.

They sit dead last in the league at minus-33 in first-period goal differential. That point was magnified on Tuesday when the Flames got a goal 37 seconds into the contest from Nick Ritchie.

"It's a terrible way to start a game," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. "You're down 1-0 and the people haven't even got in their seats yet, and then we followed it up, right after that, with a penalty. You just can't start games that way."

The Ducks are the fifth-most penalized team in the NHL, matching that with a 29th-ranked penalty kill.

That might help the Jets (40-29-3, 83 points) get more chances and even a few goals on the power play. The man advantage has been horrific lately, going 0-for-19 over the last five games.

It is Winnipeg's hope that getting things going on the power play will help take the stress off of netminder Connor Hellebuyck.

Hellebuyck has made the third-most saves while playing the second-most minutes in the league.

"He's been incredible for us, certainly all year and for a long time," Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey said. "That's what he does for us and we're certainly happy that he's on our side.

Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness was impressed with his club's pushback following a 2-1 win over Arizona on Tuesday night at home.

Before that game, he challenged his players to show on the ice, with their details, how badly they wanted to make the playoffs.

"In the third period, there was a lot of energy on the bench and that took itself out on the ice. We had everyone going," Bowness said after the game. "They knew what was at stake. They knew we had to find a way to win."

Calgary is four points behind Winnipeg for the final playoff spot, while Nashville is five back with three games in hand.

The Ducks will hope that Troy Terry will remain in the lineup. He left Tuesday's game versus the Flames with an undisclosed injury following a collision with two opponents in the third period.

--Field Level Media

Winnipeg Jets
Anaheim Ducks

Winnipeg Jets vs. Anaheim Ducks Recap MAR 23TH 2023

Adam Lowry had a goal and an assist as he pushed the visiting Winnipeg Jets past the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Thursday.

Mason Appleton and Kyle Connor also scored for Winnipeg (41-29-3, 85 points). Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 18 shots.

Cam Fowler and Frank Vatrano found the back of the net for Anaheim (23-39-10, 56 points). Lukas Dostal made 29 saves.

Winnipeg controlled play early in the first period, but the Ducks scored first as Fowler dropped back and shot the puck from the blue line at 11:41.

The Jets responded 45 seconds later. Off the rush, a pass from Lowry was chipped toward the goal by Dylan DeMelo. Dostal stopped the initial shot, but it squeezed through the five-hole and was batted into the cage by Appleton.

Connor got the Jets ahead 2-1 when he pulled in a rebound from a shot by Pierre-Luc Dubois with 6:15 left in the second period. It was Connor's 28th goal, but his first in 12 games.

Anaheim started to put some pressure on the Jets as the third period kicked off. The Ducks tied the score with another point shot from the blue line, at 5:40. On the power play, Vatrano beat Hellebuyck.

Lowry got the Jets back on top, 3-2. He parked himself in front of the net and redirected a pass from Brenden Dillon with 9:13 left.

That goal held as the Jets won their second in a row and sent Anaheim to a fifth loss in six games.

--Field Level Media