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Photo Credit: © Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

JNR: Winnipeg Gets Revenge In Montreal

The Winnipeg Jets close their season series against Montreal with a hard fought victory. Montreal beat the Jets in Winnipeg a few weeks ago so Winnipeg came back and repaid the favour in Montreal this time around. It was a strong team effort as Winnipeg got their offense from multiple different lines. The defense was solid and Hellebuyck was sharp as they limited the Canadiens chances and only gave up two goals. In the end, Copp’s breakaway goal was the winner as the Jets get a big two points in the standings with a 3-2 win.

First Period

The Jets only visit to Montreal started with a bit of a boring period. Both teams were content with safe plays and neither team generated much offense. Winnipeg was able to get the first powerplay of the game, but they weren’t able to score despite getting a few good opportunities. Blake Wheeler skated the puck towards the net and fed a pass across to Kyle Connor, but Price was able to slide across and make the save.

At the other end, Hellebuyck was solid when he needed to be as both teams went without a goal in the period. Winnipeg’s defense was decent as they didn’t give up too many opportunities on net. With neither team being able to score, the game was tied at zero heading into the second period.

Second Period

After a lacklustre first period by both clubs, things picked up early in the second period. Just over a minute into the frame, Morrissey took a long wrist shot from the point that bounced off a Montreal defender and past Price.

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Montreal upped their pressure after going down by a goal and it caused Winnipeg to take a penalty. Perreault went off for hooking and the league’s worst penalty kill had to try and kill it off. To the surprise of everyone, the Jets not only killed off the penalty, but they also found themselves on a 2-0 breakaway as Montreal turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Ehlers pushed it ahead to Wheeler who broke in a made a nice little deke before dropping it back to Ehlers. Ehlers made no mistake as he put the Jets up by two by scoring the shorthanded marker.

After going down by two goals, Montreal really started putting the pressure on Winnipeg. They controlled most of the play after the two goals and even got one of their own as former Jet Ben Chiarot let go a wicked slapper from the point. Hellebuyck couldn’t get the blocker on it as the Habs pulled to within one goal.

The game turned into a bit of a track meet near the end of the period with both teams getting scoring chances and odd-man rushes. Nobody had a better chance later in the period than Kyle Connor who was robbed by Price on a 2 on 1 with Scheifele. Connor didn’t lift the puck high enough and Price came sliding across to make a wonderful pad save.

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It was a much more exciting period than the first one and it even featured a massive hit as Adam Lowry lowered the boom on Fleury.

With the second period over, the Jets have a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

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Third Period

With the Jets up by a goal heading into the third period, they needed to play a good, clean period to walk away with the victory. They played a solid first half of the period and they regained their two goal lead at the midway point of the frame as Copp blocked a shot in the defensive end and won the race to the puck. He came in on a breakaway and was hauled down as he got the shot off. The referee began to signal a penalty, but the puck actually squeezed its way through Price’s pads and into the net.

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With a bit of a buffer now, it gave the Jets a bit more room to play around. That is, until Ben Chiarot scored his second goal of the game. The former Winnipeg Jet scored his second of the game which is the first multi-goal game of his career. Of course he does it against his former team. It was another long range shot that fooled Hellebuyck and the game was suddenly back to within one goal.

Things got even more nerve-wracking in the final three minutes as Sbisa was sent to the box for hooking. Once again, the worst penalty kill in the league went to work, this time with the game on the line. Hellebuyck made a few nice saves and the Jets did an excellent job of clearing away rebounds as they killed off the man-advantage. The Habs pulled Price but ran out of time as the Jets take a big win by a final score of 3-2.

TL;DR Why the Jets Won

The penalty kill was the main reason for the victory this evening. With a one goal lead in the final three minutes of the game, the penalty kill came up huge with an excellent kill. Montreal even pulled their goalie for the sixth attacker, but the defense stood tall and closed out the game for the win.

Jetsnation Top Gun

Tonight’s Jetsnation Top Gun is Ben Chiarot! Wait, that doesn’t seem right…

Let’s try this again… the Jetsnation Top Gun this evening is Andrew Copp. In his first game back from injury, he scored the game winning goal as he blocked a shot in the defensive zone and raced all of the way down the ice to score. The third line definitely got a boost with him back in the lineup as he almost scored another goal earlier in the game but was stopped by Price. His great work in his first game back earns him the star of the game.

Boxscore

Next Flight

The Jets are in the midst of a four game road trip as they’ve alreay been to Minnesota and they have yet to travel to Toronto and Boston. They will get a rematch with the Leafs on Wednesday as they try to get revenge after Toronto came into Winnipeg and lit up the Jets last Thursday. You can catch the game on Sportsnet and puck drop is at 6:30.