The New York Islanders and the Winnipeg Jets meet up for the final time this season as two of the Eastern Conference bubble teams, fighting for a spot in the plaayoffs. The Islanders have a chance to make their first postseason berth since 2007 while the Jets have a chance to end their playoff drought as well.
The Islanders will finish their season with four road games. The team is 13-5-2 when playing away, which could better their postseason chances. The Islanders are now within two points of the fifth-place Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference, building themselves a little cushion. Evgeni Nabokov has helped the team cement themselves into postseason contention. He is 9-1-2 with a 1.58 goals-against average in his last 12 starts. He is on a five-game winning streak heading into Saturday's matchup. Left winger Matt Moulson has found success against the Jets as he has scored goals in his last four games against the team.
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The Jets are hoping to end their own playoff problems as they attempt to win six-straight games in a row. If the team is able to stay in the final spot, they will bring postseason hockey to Manitoba for the first time since 1996. The Jets future is not in their own hands. They need Washington to not pick up a point in their game Saturday in order for the Jets to tie them for the lead in the Southeast Division. Captain Andrew Ladd has four goals and eight assists during his career-high six-game point streak. Both teammates Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little are also riding five-game streaks respectively. Goalie Ondrej Pavelec will get his sixth consecutive start for the Jets. He made 34 saves the first time he faced the Islanders. The team will need him to have that same success on Saturday.