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Game Preview: Jets @ Canadiens

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

JETS (8-5-2) @ CANADIENS (10-4-1)

After a convincing outing opposite the Minnesota Wild over the weekend, the Habs will try to make it three in a row when the Winnipeg Jets visit the Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Winners of a 4-1 decision against the Wild on Saturday, Jiri Sekac picked up a pair of points – including an assist on the game-winning goal – during Guy Lapointe’s jersey retirement night. The rookie forward was previously a healthy scratch over a seven-game span earlier this season.

Michel Therrien’s lineup on Tuesday should be similar to Saturday’s against the Wild, although defenseman Drayson Bowman, recalled from Hamilton on Monday, could make his Montreal debut against the Jets following a trade which sent Travis Moen to Dallas in exchange for Sergei Gonchar earlier in the day.

Carey Price, meanwhile, should be back in goal for the Habs, marking the 27-year-old’s 13th start of the season.

The Jets have a enjoyed a strong start to the season, currently sitting third in a tough Central Division with a 8-5-2 record thanks to a stingy defense which has so far allowed an average of just two goals per game, ranking sixth in the NHL in that category.

Also efficient on the penalty kill, the Jets rank fourth in the NHL when down a man, allowing just seven goals over 58 opportunities.

There is still work to be done on offense however, for a Winnipeg team which is scoring just 1.87 goals per game – the second-least in the league – with offensive leader Evander Kane sidelined through half of the team’s outings so far this season.

Coming off a 2-1 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators in which Ondrej Pavelec made 37 saves in 65 minutes of play, plus six more in the tiebreaker, the Czech netminder should be back in goal for the Jets on Tuesday. The 27-year-old has gone 7-4-2 to start the season – including one shutout – with a 1.98 goals against average and 0.928 save percentage.

In 2013-14, the Canadiens and Jets split their season series one game apiece, with each team winning once on the road.

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