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GAMEDAY: Jets vs Canadiens

7:00 pm CT - TV: TSN 3; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - There will be a familiar face on the ice at Bell MTS Place tonight, just not in a jersey the Winnipeg Jets are used to seeing that particular player wearing.

Ben Chiarot, who played 305 games with the Winnipeg Jets, makes his return to downtown Winnipeg tonight for the first time since signing with the Montreal Canadiens this past summer.

"It might be a little weird seeing him in a Montreal Canadiens jersey at first," said Kyle Connor.

"He plays that shutdown defensive game. I'm sure it'll mess up some guys coming to the game tonight. But it'll be fun."

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice

Chiarot scored a career-high five goals in his final season in Winnipeg in 2018-19 and already has four in Montreal this season.

He's averaging 23:38 of ice time with the Canadiens - a significant bump from the 18:37 he averaged in his final season with the Jets.

"He's been playing great for them as of late. He's been a great addition to their team. It'll be a tough test going against a guy like him," said Mark Scheifele of Chiarot. "He moves well. He does everything right and he has more offence than you might think. He's a real solid player. It will be fun to go against him tonight."

Of course, Chiarot isn't the only familiar face on the Montreal roster. Joel Armia is in his second season with the Canadiens and like Chiarot, is already one goal away from matching his career-high.

Armia has 12 goals this season and is chasing down the 13 he scored in 2018-19. His twelve goals also match the output the 26-year-old had in his final season in Winnipeg in 2017-18.

"He's got one of the best toe drags in the league. We used to see it only in Dallas, then we saw it a little more all around," said head coach Paul Maurice with a grin.

"We've been fortunate here to draft and trade pretty darn well. We had some good players here that we were going to unfortunately see moved along because we had other good players here as well.

"Joel is developing now and getting an opportunity. The skill set has always been fun to watch. Not everybody develops on the same pace. But I think he was, a little bit like Ben, on that path to become a real good player."

Video: PREGAME | Mark Scheifele

The Jets (21-13-2) are looking to be anything but hospitable hosts tonight as they close out their schedule prior to the three-day holiday break.

There won't be any changes to the line-up that produced the 6-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday except for in goal, with Laurent Brossoit getting his ninth start of the season.

The line-up is expected to look like this:

Connor-Scheifele-Laine

Ehlers-Wheeler-Roslovic

Bourque-Lowry-Appleton

Harkins-Shore-Shaw

Morrissey-Poolman

Sbisa-Pionk

Beaulieu-Bitetto

Nick Shore played double digit minutes for the fourth straight game in the win over Minnesota and had an ice-level view of his new left winger's first NHL game.

"It's always tough coming into your first game with a bit of nerves. I think he settled in well there," Shore said, adding the win over the Wild to snap the losing skid at two games was crucial.

"Once you drop two in a row, the next one is really important, as it always is," said Shore. "To come out and play like we did in a building that's tough to win in, it was big for the team."

Video: PREGAME | Kyle Connor

Since he started the season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Shore has already seen the Canadiens twice with Montreal (17-13-6) picking up the victory both times.

"They obviously have a lot of skilled guys who move really well. It's going to be big for us to stick to our game," Shore said. "If we do that, it'll turn out well for us. But at the same time it's a good team. It's never easy to win in this league. It's going to be a challenge."

Puck drop is set for 7 pm CT.

-- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com

Game Notes

The Winnipeg Jets entertain the Montreal Canadiens tonight in the final game before the three-day Christmas break...The Jets shut out the Minnesota Wild 6-0 on Saturday afternoon on the road...After tonight's game, Winnipeg returns to action on Friday at Bell MTS Place against the St. Louis Blues in the first game of a home-and-home set.

Last Game

Dec. 21 at MIN - 6-0 W

Jets Scorers: Wheeler (10), Scheifele (17), Laine (12, 13), Ehlers (15), Shaw (2)

Wild Scorers: None

Jets Goaltender: Connor Hellebuyck (31 sv, 0 ga)

Wild Goaltenders: Alex Stalock (22 sv, 6 ga); Devan Dubnyk (3 sv, 0 ga)

Jets PP: 1-for-4
Jets PK: 3-for-3

Recap: The Jets had five players score and 12 players register a point in a 6-0 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday afternoon...Patrik Laine scored twice, while Josh Morrissey had three assists...Blake Wheeler tallied a goal and an assist to become the franchise record holder for most points...Connor Hellebuyck stopped all 31 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season.

Three Stars: 1. Laine 2. Hellebuyck 3. Morrissey

READ THE GAME NOTES

Home Ice

The Jets are in the midst of playing five of six games at Bell MTS Place...Winnipeg is 10-7-1 on home ice this season, including 8-3-1 in their past 12 home contests...The Jets have lost consecutive home games after winning five straight at home...Mark Scheifele leads the Jets in scoring at home with 17 points (10G, 7A) in 18 games.

Against the East

The Jets are 7-6-1 against the Eastern Conference this season, including 3-1-0 against the Atlantic Division...Mark Scheifele leads the Jets in scoring against the Eastern Conference with 17 points (6G, 11A) in 14 games, while Patrik Laine (4G, 10A) and Blake Wheeler (5G, 9A) have 14 points (in 14 games against the East.

Rare Monday

Tomorrow is Winnipeg's first game on a Monday this season...The Jets play three games on Monday's this season, two of which are against Montreal (Jan. 6 at MTL)...The Jets are 7-10-2 in games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this season and 14-3-0 in games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Points Record

Captain Blake Wheeler captured the franchise's points record on Saturday with a goal and an assist...He has 616 points (202G, 414A) in 675 games, to pass Ilya Kovalchuk, who had 615 points (328G, 287A) in 594 games with the franchise when it was in Atlanta...Wheeler is already the franchise leader in assists with 413, while his 202 goals is third behind Kovalchuk (328) and Bryan Little (217).

First in First

In his NHL debut, Jansen Harkins had an assist on Saturday for his first NHL point...He's the 243rd player in franchise history to register a point and the 17th player in franchise history to record a point in their NHL debut...Eleven of those 17 occurrences have happened since relocation in 2011...Harkins joins Ville Heinola and David Gustafsson as members of the Jets to record their first NHL point this season.

Career High Trio

Josh Morrissey set a career high with three assists on Saturday against Minnesota...He previously had two assists in a game eight times, including twice this season...Morrissey is averaging a career high .59 assists per game this season...He is on pace for a career high 47 assists and 54 points.

Multi-Goal Laine

Patrik Laine scored twice on Saturday for his second multi-goal game of the season...

Since his rookie season in 2016-17, Laine has 21 multi-goal games, which leads the Jets and is tied for sixth in the NHL...With .38 goal per game, Laine is on pace for his fourth consecutive 30-goal season to start his NHL career.

Shutout Record Tied

Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck earned his third shutout of the season on Saturday, which moved him into a tie with Ondrej Pavelec for the most shutouts in franchise history with 17...He holds the franchise record for most shutouts in a season with six, which he did during the 2017-18 season.

How the Jets Were Built

Drafted (13) - Appleton, Connor, Copp, Ehlers, Harkins, Hellebuyck, Laine, Little, Lowry, Morrissey, Poolman, Scheifele, Roslovic

Trade (3) - Beaulieu, Pionk, Wheeler

Free Agency (8) - Bitetto, Bourque, Brossoit, Kulikov, Letestu, Luoto, Perreault, Shaw

Waivers (4) - Comrie, Dahlstrom, Sbisa, Shore

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