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Canadiens hope Eller line keeps it going vs. Jets

by Sean Farrell /

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


BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller hopes to keep things clicking with linemates Brandon Prust and Jiri Sekac against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday at Bell Centre.

Eller and Sekac each had a goal and an assist in Montreal's 4-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Prust assisted on both goals as the new line combined for six points.

"If there's good puck movement between you and you know where the guy next to you is going to go and what he's going to do, that's all about chemistry, knowing what each other's going to do before you get the puck," Eller said. "I think we had some of that last game, and I've played with (Prust) in the past and it just seems to be a good mix together, at least from what we saw last game, and we've had that in practice too."

Sekac, a rookie, will play his third straight game. The 22-year-old Czech was left out of the Canadiens lineup for seven games in a row after scoring once in his first six NHL games.

"We want to keep going from where we left off last game. I think there were a lot of good things and there's no reason not to think that we can keep doing that (Tuesday)," Eller said.

Montreal had scored eight goals in its previous six games prior to Sunday. The Canadiens power play has gone 0-for-19 while failing to score in over nine games. It has produced three goals in 39 opportunities, a 7.7 percent success rate that ranks 28th in the NHL.

Winnipeg has allowed 11 goals during an eight-game point streak (6-0-2).

"They don't give many goals and we don't score many, so that's a tough matchup, but I think we've just got to worry about ourselves sometimes," Canadiens right wing Dale Weise said. "We found a way to score some goals last game. We've got to do much of the same. Thirty-plus shots I think is what we'll be looking to get. We've got to get some bodies there, and if our power play can chip in, it will be huge."

The Jets point streak is their longest since the team relocated to Winnipeg in 2011. The franchise record is nine games, set in 2005-06 when the Atlanta Thrashers went 6-0-3 from Dec. 9-28.

"We're playing a little closer together, there's not as big a spread in our game, so we've been able to react to the unfortunate things that happen on the ice over the course of a game," Jets coach Paul Maurice said after the morning skate at Bell Centre. "And when we haven't, our goaltender's stopped the puck, and that's been a big chunk of us playing pretty well over the past couple of weeks."

Here are the projected lineups:


Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Michael Frolik

Evander Kane - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault - Adam Lowry - Dustin Byfuglien

TJ Galiardi - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn

Toby Enstrom - Zach Bogosian

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Grant Clitsome - Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Adam Pardy, Matt Halischuk

Injured: Anthony Peluso (upper body)


Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisPierre-Alexandre Parenteau

Alex GalchenyukTomas PlekanecBrendan Gallagher

Brandon PrustLars EllerJiri Sekac

Drayson BowmanManny MalhotraDale Weise

Andrei MarkovP.K. Subban

Alexei EmelinMike Weaver

Nathan BeaulieuTom Gilbert

Carey Price

Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Jarred Tinordi

Injured: Michael Bournival (shoulder)

Status report: Bowman was recalled from Hamilton of the American Hockey League on Monday after the Canadiens assigned forward Rene Bourque to Hamilton. Bowman, who has yet to play for Montreal, had 12 points in 70 games for the Carolina Hurricanes last season. He has two goals and six points in 11 games with Hamilton. Tinordi was recalled from Hamilton after playing two games for the Bulldogs this past weekend.

Who's hot: Pavelec has won five of seven starts (5-0-2) over the past eight games. He has a 1.36 goals-against average, .952 save percentage and a shutout in that span. Scheifele has a goal and two assists during a three-game point streak. Kane has a goal and two assists in his past three games. Ladd has scored the first goal of the game four times. … Parenteau has a goal and an assist in his past two games.

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