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Preview: Canadiens at Jets

Montreal forward Tomas Plekanec game-time decision; Winnipeg's Nikolaj Ehlers aims to extend point streak to six games

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

CANADIENS (25-10-6) at JETS (20-20-3)

7:30 p.m. ET; SN, RDS, NHL.TV

 

Canadiens team scope

Montreal Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec will be a game-time decision after missing the morning skate because of an illness. Plekanec scored for the first time in nine games during a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday. The Canadiens have won three of their past four games. "Up and down the lineup, guys are doing their job," defenseman Shea Weber said. "Obviously, we didn't get the result we wanted to [Monday]. It was kind of a flat game for us. We still had a chance. It was a 1-1 game going into the third period. They were able to get the momentum back right away. I think every night we have a chance to win and if we do the right thing, we'll be fine." Weber has a goal and five assists in his past five games. The Canadiens continue to be without six players because of injuries, meaning coach Michel Therrien has had to lean on his leadership core. "You know what, guys stick to the plan and they believe in the plan and they know that when we play our game, we give ourselves a chance to win," Therrien said. "It's the reason why I praise the leadership group. They're doing a phenomenal job." 

 

Jets team scope

Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers will look to extend his point streak to six games. Ehlers has five goals and two assists during that stretch but doesn't believe he's shouldering heavier offensive expectations with rookie forward and linemate Patrik Laine out because of a concussion. "I don't feel like I have extra pressure on me, to be honest," Ehlers said. "All the players and the coaches in here know that it's a team game. Everybody has to step up when a guy goes down. I'm going out there and playing the game like I have been for the past 40 games and just see how that goes." Ehlers' 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists) are tied with Laine and forward Mark Scheifele for the Jets lead. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck will make his sixth straight start. He is 4-2-0 during that stretch and thinks his game has progressed during his first full NHL season. "I like where it's at," he said. "I've got my confidence back. I'm comfortable in the net, the work we put in and kind of seeing some of it show itself. I'm excited because I know there's so much more I can get better at, so much more I can keep improving at." Defenseman Jacob Trouba missed the morning skate. Coach Paul Maurice expects him to play but it will be a game-time decision. Winnipeg is 3-1-0 in its past four games. 

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Alexander Radulov

Artturi Lehkonen -- Brian Flynn -- Paul Byron 

Sven Andrighetto -- Torrey Mitchell -- Chris Terry

Daniel Carr -- Michael McCarron -- Nikita Scherbak

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Nathan Beaulieu -- Jeff Petry

Mark Barberio -- Ryan Johnston

Al Montoya

Carey Price

Scratched: Zach Redmond, Tomas Plekanec, Bobby Farnham

Injured: Brendan Gallagher (hand), David Desharnais (knee), Alex Galchenyuk (knee), Andrew Shaw (concussion), Andrei Markov (groin), Greg Pateryn (ankle)

 

Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mark Scheifele - Drew Stafford

Mathieu Perreault -- Bryan Little -- Blake Wheeler

Shawn Matthias -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Nic Petan -- Andrew Copp -- Chris Thorburn

Josh Morrissey -- Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom -- Jacob Trouba

Ben Chiarot -- Paul Postma

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Mark Stuart, Brandon Tanev 

Injured: Tyler Myers (lower body), Marko Dano (lower body), Patrik Laine (concussion)

 

Status report

Galchenyuk and Markov did not make the trip to Winnipeg. Therrien said Monday that both were getting closer to returning to the lineup. … Myers, who has missed 27 games, was on the recent road trip but left the Jets to attend a personal matter, Maurice said. He has yet to return and Maurice said his recovery is still progressing. 

 

Who's hot

Beaulieu has a goal and five assists in his past six games. … Pacioretty has five goals and two assists in his past seven games and 12 goals and four assists in his past 15. … Scheifele has two goals and three assists in his past five games. … Wheeler has four goals and seven assists in his past 11 games. … Trouba has one goal and six assists in his past seven games.

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