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Game Day Preview: Canadiens @ Jets

The Winnipeg Jets host the Montreal Canadiens tonight, looking to build off of Sunday’s 3-0 shutout victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Habs at Jets

When: Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Time: 7:00 p.m. CST

Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB

Records: Winnipeg (3-3-0, 10th in the Western Conference), Montreal (3-2-0, 4th in the Eastern Conference)

Television/Radio: TSN-Jets, RDS, TSN-Habs/TSN 1290 Radio

The Story:  The Winnipeg Jets host the Montreal Canadiens tonight, looking to build off of Sunday’s 3-0 shutout victory over the New Jersey Devils.

The Jets ended a three game losing streak with the win over the Devils two nights ago and in the process displayed perhaps the most complete team effort of the season to date. The Jets out-hit the Devils 31-18 and played with a level of intensity that was lacking in the team’s previous three games. 22-year-old left winger Evander Kane scored two goals (including an empty netter) and had his best game of the season, making hits all over the ice and creating scoring chances consistently throughout the game.

The Jets face a Montreal Canadiens team tonight that has won their last two games, most recently an impressive 4-1 road victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Speaking of the road, tonight’s game is the fourth game of a Western Conference road trip which has included stops in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. After tonight’s game, the Canadiens will return home for a five game homestand, starting Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Jets will have their hands full with the Canadiens tonight as they are a quick-strike team that moves the puck well out of their own zone and can hurt you in different areas of the game.

Montreal is led on defense by 2012’13 Norris Trophy Winner PK Subban, who has a goal and six assists in the team’s first five games. Subban forms the Canadiens top d pairing along with Andrei Markov and has looked very good early on this season. Subban has no lack of motivation as he will be a restricted free agent this coming summer and is also playing for a spot on the 2014 Canadian Men’s Olympic Team Roster.

On forward, Habs Head Coach Michel Therrien is currently using Lars Eller (5 goals, 2 assists) as the centre on the team’s top line alongside Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta while Tomas Plekanec is centering the team’s second line alongside second year wingers Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. Plekanec has been struggling early on this season (two points in five games) and the hope is that he can produce better playing alongside Gallagher and Galchenyuk, who have picked up where they left off last season.

Carey Price (2-2-0, 2.27 GAA, .929 Save %) is expected to start in net for the Canadiens tonight.

Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal for the Jets tonight.

Projected Winnipeg Jets Line Combinations:

Evander Kane-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler
Andrew Ladd-Mark Scheifele-Michael Frolik
Eric Tangradi-Olli Jokinen-Devin Setoguchi
James Wright-Jim Slater-Matt Halischuk

Tobias Enstrom-Zach Bogosian
Paul Postma-Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart-Jacob Trouba

Ondrej Pavelec
Al Montoya

Healthy Scratches: Anthony Peluso, Grant Clitsome

Projected Montreal Canadiens Line Combinations:

Max Pacioretty-Lars Eller- Brian Gionta
Alex Galchenyuk-Tomas Plekanec-Brendan Gallagher
Brandon Prust–David Desharnais-Rene Bourque
Travis Moen- Ryan White- Danny Briere

PK Subban- Andrei Markov
Josh Gorges-Raphael Diaz
Francois Bouillon-Nathan Beaulieu

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Healthy Scratches: Michael Bournival, Jarred Tinordi

Injury Report:

Montreal Canadiens: George Parros (concussion), Douglas Murray (upper body), Davis Drewiske (shoulder), Alexei Emelin (knee)

Winnipeg Jets:  Chris Thorburn (lower body, questionable)

QUICKIES….Montreal has the 7th ranked Power Play in the NHL (28.6%)…..Last year, Montreal had the 5th Ranked Power Play in the NHL (20.7%)…..Plekanec needs two more points to reach 400 career points…..