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Jets try to continue dominant stretch against Canadiens

Jan 10, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele (55) receives congratulations fro left wing Pierre-Luc Dubois (80) after scoring in the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets will try to extend a three-game win streak when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

The Jets have been rolling lately, having won eight of their past nine games, and currently sit on top of the Central Division with 59 points and have the Western Conference’s best points percentage at .670.

Winnipeg extended its current winning streak with a 2-1 victory against the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday at home.

Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler scored, while goalie Connor Hellebuyck was nearly perfect with 20 saves on 21 shots for his 22nd win of the season.

“Goals are great but there’s a lot of ways you can contribute,” Dubois said. “For myself personally, goals are always fun to score, I’m not going to complain, but I want to be even more than that.

“I think we had ups and downs during the game. Our goal is to always play a 60-minute game. … I thought at times tonight we did a good job, at times tonight we kind of fell off. We want to play really aggressive, but we also want to be on top of teams.”

Montreal is on the other end of the league standings and entered Tuesday second-to-last in the Eastern Conference.

The Canadiens have a 3-7-0 record in their last 10 games and have a minus-46 goal differential this season.

Montreal is coming off a win, though, after beating the New York Rangers 2-1 on Sunday.

Cole Caufield scored a go-ahead goal in the third period, his 26th of the season, and Sam Montembault made 38 saves to help Montreal escape New York with a victory.

Montembault has been the Canadiens’ surprise ace in net over the past week. He started both games of a back-to-back in New York and all four games in the past week as he turned away 150 of 159 shots for a .943 save percentage during that stretch.

“There was an opportunity for him tonight, and obviously he seized it,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. “He was a big player for us tonight. I thought we played hard in front of him. Obviously, he has to correct the last mistakes we made, and they brought a lot of shots.”

St. Louis was particularly happy with his team after the victory, even if the shots favored the Rangers.

“I felt from start to finish we were very engaged physically, mentally,” St. Louis said. “It’s one of those games where you’re coming into this building, they’re 13-2-2 in their last 17, they’ve been waiting for you. The game is at 5, a quick turnaround, we’re on a back-to-back, our injuries, it seemed like before the puck dropped you have an uphill battle.

“I just felt we came in tonight and we didn’t focus on all of the excuses we had to not give it our all. Just a gutsy win. By no means was it perfect, but the engagement was an all-time high for our team this season.”

–Field Level Media