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PREVIEW: Winnipeg Jets aim for continued success vs. Canadiens

Feb 11, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny (25) celebrates his second period goal with center Mason Appleton (22) against the Ottawa Senators at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny (25) celebrates his second period goal with center Mason Appleton (22) against the Ottawa Senators at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets look to keep the Canadiens under their thumb on Saturday when the teams complete a two-game series in Montreal.

The Jets opened a five-game road trip by skating to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Canadiens on Thursday. The win was Winnipeg’s sixth in its last seven games overall and third against Montreal in an eight-day stretch.

Paul Stastny scored twice, Mathieu Perreault also tallied and fellow Quebec native Pierre-Luc Dubois converted 4:29 into overtime on Thursday.

“It’s a special place to play. I have a lot of friends and family who are watching the game,” said Dubois, who is from Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. “After, when I come back to my phone, I’d say 75 percent are happy and the other 25 percent is happy for me.

“To get two points in any arena, against any team, is big especially at this point of the season.”

Reigning Vezina Trophy recipient Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves, including a post-to-post denial of Paul Byron just minutes before Dubois’ winner. Hellebuyck owns a 5-2-1 record with a 2.99 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in nine career encounters with Montreal.

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Winnipeg sports a perfect 5-0 record in overtime games this season. Perreault believes he knows why the team has been so successful in the 3-on-3 sessions.

“We’ve got so much skill,” Perreault said. “You get these guys out there with the speed and the skill they have, they can just create chances, and we see it again (Thursday). We had a ton of chances and we finally found a way to put it in.”

Conversely, Montreal fell to 0-6 in games that have ventured past regulation — with two losses coming in the shootout.

“We’ve just got to get better results. It’s something we’ve talked about,” Canadiens captain Shea Weber said. “We tried to make a couple of changes. … It didn’t result in what we wanted, but going forward here, we’ve just got to be better. We’ve got to find a way to get those extra points.”

Tyler Toffoli scored his team-leading 14th goal for the Canadiens, who dropped to 1-2-4 in their last seven games overall and 1-1-2 since Dominique Ducharme took over as coach.

Brendan Gallagher scored on the power play midway into the second period. The goal with the man advantage was Montreal’s fourth in the last four games after the team mustered that same total over its previous 13 contests.

“I think guys are executing well,” Jonathan Drouin said about the Canadiens’ recent performance on the power play. “(New assistant coach Alex Burrows) done a great job of making sure we’re on the same page. Everyone knows what they have to do on the ice in their spots.”

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Carey Price is expected to return to the crease on Saturday. The former Hart and Vezina Trophy recipient looks to atone after yielding five goals on 29 shots in a 6-3 setback at Winnipeg on Feb. 25.

Price owns a 15-7-4 record with three shutouts, a 2.32 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 27 career appearances versus the Jets.

–Field Level Media