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Preview: Jets at Wild

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

The Winnipeg Jets have built a season-high four-game winning streak to move over the .500 mark as they visit the red-hot Minnesota Wild on Sunday. The Jets won their last three contests in shootouts after blanking Nashville to start the run, and coach Claude Noel believes many of his players have been on their “A-games” lately. They will need to continue against the Wild, who are riding a seven-game point streak (6-0-1) during which they've allowed only 11 goals.

Josh Harding has been one of the league’s best goalies in the first quarter of the season with 11 wins and a .945 save percentage. The Wild have only one regulation loss in 12 home games, posting five straight wins at Xcel Energy Center with a defense ranked second in the league in goals-against through Friday. Winnipeg has won four of its last five meetings with the Wild but lost 2-1 in Minnesota on Oct. 10.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TSN (Winnipeg), FSN North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE JETS (10-9-2): Winnipeg snapped out of a slump on the power play with two goals in the 3-2 victory over Philadelphia on Friday after converting only once in 47 attempts over its previous 15 games. However, the Jets have struggled on the penalty kill of late, giving up five goals in the last three contests. Ondrej Pavelec responded to sitting two straight games with four consecutive victories, allowing a total of eight goals, and center Bryan Little has four tallies and seven points in his last six contests.

ABOUT THE WILD (12-4-4): Harding had to make only 14 saves to beat Winnipeg last month and must carry the load with fellow netminder Niklas Backstrom’s status uncertain after suffering a concussion on Wednesday. Zach Parise has picked it up on the offensive end, registering four goals in five games and eight points in the last seven contests. Jason Pominville has 12 goals and a plus-9 rating to lead the way for Minnesota, while captain Mikko Koivu has recorded a team-high 13 assists – three in the last two games.

OVERTIME

1. Wild D Ryan Suter averages 29:34 of ice time, over two minutes more than anyone else in the league.

2. Winnipeg D Dustin Byfuglien has recorded three goals in the last three games and five points in as many contests.

3. Minnesota is near the top of the league in faceoff percentage (54.6 percent) and the Jets are near the bottom at 45.0.

PREDICTION: Wild 3, Jets 2

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/131117/preview-jets-at-wild