When: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m. CST
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Records: Winnipeg Jets (3-1-1), Montreal Canadiens (3-1-0)
Television/Radio: TSN-JETS, TSN-HABS, RDS/ TSN 1290
The Story: The Winnipeg Jets kick off a three game road-trip tonight in Montreal against the Canadiens looking to extend their winning streak to four games.
The Jets defeated the New York Islanders 5-4 in overtime in their last game Sunday night and are now on a four games points streak that dates back to last Monday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins. Montreal is on a three game winning streak of their own after defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-3 Sunday night.
The Jets continue to get balanced scoring from up and down their roster early on this season. On Sunday, offense came from third line forwards Alexei Ponikarovsky and Alexander Burmistrov who each got their first goals of the season. Burmistrov’s game-tying goal came with just under six minutes to go in the third period and paved the way for Evander Kane’s game winner in overtime.
At the other end, Montreal has been led by All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov. The Russian rearguard leads the Habs with four goals and one assist in five games and has looked better than ever after spending the last two seasons in and out of the line-up with injuries. Montreal’s top scorer last season, Max Pacioretty (33 goals, 32 assists, 65 points) had emergency apendectomy surgery Saturday and will be out of the line-up for three to four weeks. Pacioretty had four points in Montreal’s first three games.
It was announced early Monday night that the Canadiens had finally come to terms with Restricted Free Agent defenceman PK Subban on a two year, $5.75 million dollar deal. Subban will not be in the line-up for Montreal tonight but is expected to join the team on Wednesday in Ottawa.
Today’s game is the first of three meetings between the Jets and Canadiens this year. The two teams will next meet on Thursday, April 4th in Montreal (6:30 p.m. CST). The third and final meeting of the season between the two teams will take place in Winnipeg on Thursday, April 25th (7:00 p.m. CST).
Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal for the Jets tonight.
Follow @IllegalCurve on Twitter leading up to tonight’s game.
Audio courtesy of TSN Radio 1290.
Projected Jets line combinations (subject to change before game time):
1st: Evander Kane- Olli Jokinen- Blake Wheeler
2nd: Andrew Ladd- Nikolai Antropov- Bryan Little
3rd: Alexei Ponikarovsky – Alexander Burmistrov- Kyle Wellwood
4th: Chris Thorburn – Jim Slater – James Wright
Dustin Byfuglien- Tobias Enstrom
Ron Hainsey- Mark Stuart
Paul Postma–Grant Clitsome
Montreal Canadiens: Andrei Markov (4 goals, 1 assist, 5 points), Raphael Diaz (0 goals, 5 assists, 5 points), Max Pacioretty (0 goals, 4 assists, 4 points)
Winnipeg Jets: Tobias Enstrom (0 goals, 6 assists, 6 points), Dustin Byfuglien (3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points), Evander Kane (3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points)
Montreal Canadiens: Tomas Kaberle (face), Max Pacioretty (stomach), Paul Mara (suspension)
Winnipeg Jets: Zach Bogosian (wrist), Antti Miettinen (upper body)
Who’s Next: After tonight’s game, the Jets play back-to-back games against the Florida Panthers on Thursday, January 31st (6:30 p.m. CST) and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, February 1st (6:30 p.m. CST)
QUICKIES…..Evander Kane has two points in each of the last three Jets games….