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Munz: Jets, Leafs put identical records on the line

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Brian Munz
12/31/2011 1:15:16 PM
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It's a battle of 18-14-5 teams as the Winnipeg Jets host the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at MTS Centre.

TSN 1290's coverage is underway as the Illegal Curve Hockey Show started at Noon ct.  Hustler & Lawless will be live in the Exchange Restaurant inside MTS Centre at 3pm ct. Rick Ralph hosts the official Jets pr-egame show at 5pm ct. Dennis Beyak, Shane Hnidy and I will have the play-by-play at 6pm ct.

Ondrej Pavelec starts in goal for the Jets. He is coming off a 32-save performance Tuesday in Denver which resulted in a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Head coach Claude Noel told TSN 1290 this morning, for the second consecutive game, forward Jim Slater will be a game-time decision due to an upper body injury. Slater did not play in Thursday's 1-0 overtime victory versus Los Angeles.

Patrice Cormier replaced Slater against the Kings, and is the option for Noel again tonight.

Evander Kane, the overtime hero Thursday, has scored three goals in his last two games and is on a 3-game point streak which includes three goals and one assist.

Blake Wheeler is on a 4-game point streak (two goals and four assists).

Tonight's Winnipeg expected lines:
 
Kane - Stapleton - Wheeler
Ladd - Antropov - Wellwood
Glass - Burmistrov - Miettinen
Fehr - Slater/Cormier - Thorburn

Hainsey - Enstrom
Bogosian - Oduya
Stuart – Flood

Defenseman Derek Meech skated with the Jets this morning as he continues to recover from injury. Meech is still a few weeks away from game action, but it was good to see #7 back on the ice.

Toronto did not skate this morning.

Head coach Ron Wilson confirmed yesterday Morweena, Manitoba native James Reimer will start in goal.

Clarke MacAurthur (one goal and four assists), Joffrey Lupul (two goals and two assists) and Phil Kessel (one goal and three assists) are on 4-game point streaks.

Mikhail Grabovski is on a 3-game point streak (two goals and two assists)

Nikolai Kulemin has a goal and assist in his last two games.

This is the final stop of a 4-game road trip from the Leafs who are 1-1-1 so far.

Tyler Bozak fell into the boards yesterday during practise at MTS Centre and will be a game-time decision.

In the first of four regular season games back on October 19th in Toronto, the Leafs came from behind to beat the Jets 4-3 in a shootout. Both teams were 2/4 that night on the power play. It was in that game, Mark Scheifele scored his first NHL goal.

Blake Wheeler  (Photo: Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
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