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Wheeler has two goals and an assist, leads Jets over slumping Canadiens 4-0

NHL.com @NHL

WINNIPEG - Blake Wheeler had two goals and an assist to spark the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-0 victory over the slumping Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Wheeler has overcome early scoring troubles with three goals in the last three games, giving him five on the season. The towering six-foot-five right-winger has also been one of the Jets' best set-up guys with 19 assists.

Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec stopped 27 shots for his third shutout of the season.

The Jets (16-13-5) earned seven of a possible 10 points on their current six-game home stand. They host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night.

Tanner Glass and Tim Stapleton also scored for Winnipeg.

Montreal goaltender Carey Price made 30 saves, but the Canadiens (13-16-7) suffered their fifth straight defeat.

The Canadiens are off until Dec. 27, when they resume a six-game road trip in Ottawa.

Montreal still hasn't won since interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth replaced Jacques Martin after he was fired last week.

The move to promote Cunneyworth, a Jet for a very short time during the 1989-90 season, has sparked unrest in Quebec because he doesn't speak French. It's been decades since the Canadiens have had a non-French speaking head coach.

Gunning for a quick start against the slumping Canadiens, the Jets struck early with a power-play goal just over three minutes into the game. Wheeler took a cross-ice pass from Dustin Byfuglien and ripped his first of the game with Habs' blue-liner Hal Gill serving a double minor for high-sticking.

Glass gave the Jets a 2-0 lead when he scored his fourth goal of the season at 13:13, finishing off pretty three-way passing play with Nik Antropov and Kyle Wellwood.

Despite allowing a pair of goals in the first period, Price was outstanding as the Jets outshot the Canadiens 13-6 over the first 20 minutes.

But just 39 seconds into the second period, Price surrendered Wheeler's second of the game on a shot from the right faceoff dot that the netminder likely should have blocked.

Pavelec, who registered an assist on Wheeler's second goal, was particularly sharp in the second period, stopping 14 shots as the Habs pressed to get on the board.

Neither club mustered much offensive in the third period, with the Habs looking tired and the Jets content to just chip the puck deep.

Stapleton rounded out the scoring for the Jets with under three minutes left in the third.

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