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In Jets-Red Wings matchup, only one team taking flight
Friday, January 11, 2019
Latest Line: Detroit +190 O/U: 6.5
 
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Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice stood in front of reporters on Wednesday and fielded a question about his team's lack of a big winning streak this season, which is somewhat true.

The Jets' largest winning streak of the season has been five games, with three wins in that stretch coming in overtime.

But Maurice answered that question by pointing out that the Jets have not gone on a big losing streak, which is also true.

Winnipeg (27-14-2) has not lost more than two games in a row this season. That's a big reason why the Jets are just two points behind Nashville for first place in the Central division going into Friday night's home game against the struggling Detroit Red Wings (16-22-7).

"The silver lining and the positive is that we still find ourselves in a good position in our division and in our conference, which means we probably have been more consistent than people give us credit for," Maurice said.

"I saw one headline not too long ago that we were still looking for that complete game. We were in first place in the Western Conference at that time. I'm not sure what that's supposed to look like. We've played some pretty solid hockey here."

Winnipeg has 56 points, but has three games in hand with the Predators. The Jets trail West-leading Calgary by four points, but have two games in hand with the Flames.

"So much of your season isn't necessarily about the opponent you play that night," Maurice said. "It's kind of the road you have traveled the week prior to it. You catch a team that is hot."

Hot certainly isn't a way to describe the Red Wings.

Detroit has lost eight of its last nine games and is fading from playoff contention.

Detroit won just one game on its recent five-game homestand, which concluded with a 3-2 loss to Montreal on Tuesday.

"We were in every game, but you have to find a way to win," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.

"Frustrating is a good word, but frustrating is a waste of time. We've got to find a way towards solutions. We've got to find a way to wins. Wins breeds confidence. We have to find that confidence ASAP. We are obviously going into some tough buildings.

"As I've said, in this league, the difference in talent isn't so much so that you can't go in and beat anybody. When we work like dogs and we don't give away goals, we are a good team."

One area in which the Red Wings will have an advantage is rest.

Detroit has had two days off going into Friday, while Winnipeg will play the second leg of a back-to-back following a 3-2 loss at Minnesota on Thursday.

This will be the second and final meeting of the season between the teams. Winnipeg won the first matchup 2-1 in Detroit on Oct. 26.

--Field Level Media