CANADIENS (3-2-0) @ JETS (3-3-0)
The Canadiens will close out a four-game road trip by taking on the Jets at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Tuesday night.
Coming off a pair of convincing 4-1 wins over both the Oilers and Canucks in their last two outings, the Habs will look to return to Montreal on a season-high three-game winning streak.
Carey Price was outstanding in the Habs’ last tilt on Saturday night in Vancouver. The Anahim Lake, BC native turned aside 39 of the 40 shots he faced to pick up his second win of the season. Max Pacioretty, Lars Eller, Tomas Plekanec and Josh Gorges all tallied for the Canadiens on Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo.
The Jets, meanwhile, posted a 3-0 win over the Devils on home ice on Sunday night. In his first start of the season, Al Montoya made 24 saves to register his fourth career shutout. Evander Kane scored his second and third goals of the season in the victory for Winnipeg, who will play the second game of a six-game home stand on Tuesday night.
Captain Brian Gionta returns to the Canadiens’ lineup against the Jets. The Rochester, NY native arrived in Winnipeg on Sunday night and joined the team for practice on Monday morning after attending to family matters in Montreal over the weekend. He will suit up for his 700th career NHL game, while Gorges will be taking part in his 500th career game. Price is expected to get the start in goal for the Canadiens.
Through five tilts, Michel Therrien’s troops have been efficient at both ends of the rink. The Habs have scored 17 goals (10th most in the NHL), while allowing just 10 (fifth fewest in the league). Claude Noel’s Jets have been equally productive on offense, scoring 17 goals in six games, but have struggled to keep the puck out of their own net, having already conceded 16 goals against.
In the special teams department, the Habs own the league’s seventh-ranked power play (28.6%) and 11th best penalty kill (81.8%), while Winnipeg ranks 20th with the man advantage (18.5%) and 16th in shorthanded situations (80.0%).
From a defensive standpoint, the Winnipeg trio of Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom and rookie Jacob Trouba have each averaged over 23 minutes of ice time per game and are expected to do most of the heavy lifting for the Jets. Byfuglien leads the team with six assists and 14 penalty minutes. P.K. Subban, meanwhile, leads all Canadiens rearguards in ice time, averaging nearly 25 minutes per outing.
Up front, Winnipeg’s offensive attack will be led by Kane. The 6-foot-2 Vancouver native ranks third on the team in points with five in six games. He also leads Winnipeg with 30 shots on goal. Brendan Gallagher leads all Canadiens forwards with 18 shots on goal, while Eller and Alex Galchenyuk are tied for the team scoring lead with seven points apiece alongside Subban.
Since the Jets’ relocation from Atlanta prior to the 2011-12 season, the two teams have met on seven occasions, with the Habs coming out on top six times. The Canadiens are 2-1 in Winnipeg during that span.
Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. EST.
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