|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 5, 2019
Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba Attendance: 15,321
No love lost as Sharks visit Winnipeg
When looking for a heated rivalry, the Winnipeg Jets and San Jose Sharks may not leap out at first as one that would provide a can't-miss clash.
But the antagonism between the two clubs is definitely building, which is a very good thing since a Jets-Sharks Western Conference Finals playoff meeting is a very real possibility.
The clubs will reacquaint Tuesday night in Winnipeg, and there are a couple of juicy and heated storylines beyond the possible playoff matchup.
For starters, this is the first time the Sharks have visited Winnipeg since the famous video came out in which Justin Braun, Tomas Hertl and Tim Heed called the Manitoba city "cold" and "dark" and questioned the city's technological abilities because of the Wi-Fi at the hotel. So, it's a good bet those players will hear some catcalls from the always vocal Jets fans.
"They're lucky that I'm on the team," Evander Kane told the San Jose Mercury News. "Everyone is going to be focused on me instead."
Kane may have been traded away from the Jets to the Buffalo Sabres nearly four years ago, but he remains one of Winnipeg's great villains, and naturally expects to hear it from the crowd in his first visit as a member of the Sharks. That said, he admits being hated by the crowd can boost his play.
"I don't know too many guys who don't get motivated by getting booed," Kane said. "It's something you enjoy when it does happen."
Those extra-curricular elements just add to what has the makings for a top tilt. The Sharks, who sit second in the Pacific Division, have won nine of their last 12 games, and two straight outings, the latest a 3-2 overtime victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.
On the other side, the Jets, currently atop the Central Division standings, are riding a three-game winning streak and have won seven of nine outings. They're coming off 9-3 thrashing of the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday in which they scored six times in the first period and Jack Roslovic recorded his first career hat trick with three power-play goals.
"It felt good. I'm not a big goal scorer," Roslovic said. "I haven't had a hat trick in a while. To get one in the NHL, it's pretty nice."
For his efforts, Roslovic on Monday was named the NHL's first star of the week.
The Jets may also receive a big boost for the game in the likes of defenseman Dustin Byfuglien being back in the fold. Byfuglien, who has missed 14 games due to an ankle injury suffered on Dec. 29, practiced fully on Monday. He's still deemed as being day-to-day.
"He's good. He's felt good for a week now," Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice said. "(Monday's practice) will be a good indicator of where he is at. We'll go full on and make a decision on how he comes back (on Tuesday)."
Unfortunately for the Sharks, defenseman Erik Karlsson is expected to miss a fifth consecutive game due to a lower-body injury.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 4, 2019
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