photo courtesy Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images
By Kyle Rudge
Special to kenoraonline
Fresh off a shootout loss just two days prior, the Jets were not phased as they played host to Montreal last night. Ondrej Pavalec earned his third shutout of the season stopping all 27 shots directed at him. Blake Wheeler led the way offensively with two goals and an assist on the night. The final score on the evening 4-0.
The first period was great for the Winnipeg Jets, finishing off with two highlight reel goals (Blake Wheeler at 3:18 and Tanner Glass at 13:13). Wheeler’s goal came off the power play during the first half of a double high-sticking minor from Hal Gill. Glass followed up with his about 10 minutes later after a backhand saucer pass from Nik Antropov into the slot.
It was just 39 seconds into the second period when Wheeler notched his second of the game and fifth of the year. What began as a pass from goaltender Ondrej Pavalec to defenseman Ron Hainsey, was thrown up the right side to a waiting Wheeler and ended with a quick wrist shot under the blocker of Carey Price. With the crowd continually chanting “Carey” to heckle the Montreal goaltender and the early 3-0 deficit, Price’s play did not suffer. The Jets would have easily continued to run up the score, if it weren't for the outstanding play of Price. The Canadiens' defence was also helped by the four penalties the Jets took during the second period, including a four-minute high sticking double minor to Chris Thorburn.
The third was relatively quiet. Thorburn’s penalty carried over from the second was quickly killed off, but after that it was all defense. Wheeler’s third point of the night came with about two and a half minutes remaining, when he sent a pass across the slot to a waiting Tim Stapleton, who had no trouble snapping it home. As the clock ticked down through the final seconds, even the third of the crowd dressed in red Canadiens jerseys stood to cheer for the Jets.
Friday night, the Jets will face a tougher opponent at home, the Pittsburgh Penguins.