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Photo Credit: © James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

JNGD.S8.G78 Recap: Jets Drop Another At Home In Front Of Habs Faithful 3-1

The Jets close out their home portion of the 2018-19 regular season with a dud of a performance against the Montreal Canadiens. It’s the Jets third loss in a row at home although given that the crowd was a pretty even split of Habs and Jets fans – as is the case with most original six clubs, especially the two Canadian teams – you could forgive the Jets if they felt like they were on the road.

Not that they gave the ones who remained in blue much to cheer about. Two periods of dreadful hockey and a third of slightly better but still sub-par effort doomed them in this one.

FIRST PERIOD

Did you think the Jets would come out fired up and ready to redeem themselves after that debacle on Thursday? Well you’d be wrong.

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The Jets were out-shot 15-5 and went a full ten minute plus stretch in the middle of the period without getting a shot on Habs goalie Carey Price. The Jets meanwhile didn’t do much to hinder Montreal’s efforts to get to the front of the Winnipeg net and Connor Hellebuyck had to make a series of outstanding saves. The Canadiens finally breakthrough on the first penalty of the night when the league’s 31st overall power play made quick work of the Jets PK and former Jet Joel Armia finished off a quick passing play to take a 1-0 lead.

SECOND PERIOD

The Jets again only manage single digit shots at the Habs and Carey Price as the second period was slightly better, but not by much. The Canadiens out-shoot Winnipeg 13-8, but to be fair it could have been 10 shots for the Jets, but two attempts in the latter half of the period – the first by Dustin Byfuglien and a second by Kevin Hayes – ring off posts behind a well beaten price. Montreal adds to their lead mere seconds after the second post hit as somewhat cruelly a Jeff Petry shot from distance goes post and in.

THIRD PERIOD

It would have been rather frustrating to see the Jets come out with a huge sense of urgency to their game with just 20 minutes left to play and thankfully they don’t as again the Habs manage to use an effective forecheck to keep Winnipeg from generating any kind of momentum and speed through the neutral zone. In fact if anything, the Habs continue to carry play through most of the first ten minutes of the period and are the ones peppering Hellebuyck with shots.

Winnipeg finally gets on the board to make things slightly interesting on a very broken play that saw the Habs go a bit keystone cops on everyone that Mathieu Perreault was able to take advantage of, but it’s the only offense the Jets can muster on the night. The Jets top two lines only manage nine shots between the six players – the same amount that the Jets defense took in the game – and save for a couple of good shifts from the third and fourth lines, the forward group looked absolutely brutal.

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An empty net goal seals Winnipeg’s fate on this night and keeps Montreal – for now – alive in their own post-season race.

CHARTS & BOXSCORE

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  • Giving up way too many shots and they seem to only dump the puck and chase they puck. The defense shoots the puck up to a forward that is standing still instead of in motion and he deflects it into the opponents end. Why can’t the carry the puck over the blue line?