JETS (3-1-1) at CANADIENS (3-1-0)
TV: TSN-JETS, TSN-HABS, RDS (HD)
Season series: This is the first of three meetings between the clubs, and the first of two scheduled at the Bell Centre. The Jets were one of the few teams the Canadiens played well against last season, taking three of their four meetings and outscoring Winnipeg by a 15-8 margin.
Big story: Both the Jets and Canadiens come into this game riding three-game winning streaks, and they both won their last game in overtime. One of those streaks will be coming to an end.
Jets: The Jets came away from a two-game homestand with four of a possible four points against the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders, but they didn’t make it easy on themselves.
In both games, the Jets had to erase two-goal deficits, and in the last one against the Islanders, the comeback took place after entering the third period up by a goal.
It’s enough to put a few extra grey hairs on the head of coach Claude Noel.
"It wasn't the way that we would have drawn it up, but we can still get some positives out of the game. It wasn't ideally what we would have liked," Noel said following Sunday’s 5-4 overtime win against the Islanders. "You're going to have those nights and I think that what you have to do is to get a grip on things. It's not the way that we would like to play, and you don't want to do those things, but, hey, that's what you get in these games. The belief system is stronger from that Pittsburgh game."
Canadiens: Montreal is coming off a 4-3 overtime win at home against the New Jersey Devils, a game where they blew a 3-1 third-period lead. For a team that had the NHL’s third-worst winning percentage when leading after two periods last season, coming away with two points was a relief because that was the type of game this team made a habit of losing a year ago.
“That’s a big difference and that’s something we can feed off of,” goaltender Carey Price said after the Devils game. “Obviously we don’t want to give up leads, but at the same time we beared down and found a way to win.”
The Canadiens enter the game as one of the top defensive teams in the NHL, tied for second with 1.75 goals against per game and sixth with 27.5 shots against per game.
Who’s hot: Forwards Evander Kane, Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd and defensemen Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom all enter the game riding three-game point streaks for the Jets. Kane has notched a goal and assist in each of his last three, while Byfuglien and Enstrom have five points apiece over that span … Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov scored the game-winning goal for a third straight game when his overtime winner sunk the Devils. He leads the Canadiens with four goals and five points this season…Price has allowed seven goals on 110 shots this season for a save percentage of .936.
Injury report: The Jets are missing defenseman Zach Bogosian (wrist) and forward Antti Miettinen (upper body), who are both on injured reserve. … The Canadiens are without top line left wing Max Pacioretty (appendicitis) and center Petteri Nokelainen (back), while restricted free agent defenseman P.K. Subban signed a contract on Monday evening, but he will not be dressed for Montreal.
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