CANADIENS (46-20-8) @ JETS (38-24-12)
The Canadiens pay the Winnipeg Jets a rare visit on Thursday in Manitoba.
The Habs haven’t visited the MTS Centre since blanking the Jets 3-0 on October 15, 2013. The teams have split a pair of games in Montreal since then, with Winnipeg winning 2-1 in February 2014 and the Habs responding with a 3-0 decision last November.
On Tuesday, Michel Therrien’s squad became the first to reach 100 points this season following a 3-2 overtime loss in Nashville, also moving into first place overall in the NHL. The Jets meanwhile suffered a first loss in their last six games, falling 5-2 in Vancouver.
The Jets currently hold the West’s second wild card spot, two points ahead of the L.A. Kings with one less game to play.
Dustin Tokarski, who made 42 saves in Florida just over a week ago, will get the start in Winnipeg.
On the other end of the ice, Ondrej Pavelec will be between the pipes for the Jets. In 43 starts this season, the Czech netminder has registered 18 wins and 23 losses, nine of which have come in overtime.
Up front, Drew Stafford has impressed since his arrival in the Prairies. Acquired from Buffalo in exchange for Evander Kane, Stafford has racked up 15 points (7G-8A-15PTS) in the 18 games since the trade.
Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, sidelined since March 5, will return to the lineup Thursday night after missing the Jets' last nine games.
Aside from the change in goal, the rest of Therrien’s lineup should remain intact from Tuesday, with Sergei Gonchar sitting out a seventh game as a healthy scratch.