For the first time in franchise history, the Winnipeg Jets have shut out the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
After a slow start, the Jets roared back to score three unanswered goals in the second period, handing a third straight loss to the Habs.
The Jets received scoring help from Paul Stastny (12), Nikolaj Ehlers (17), Derek Forbort (2), Andrew Copp (14) and Mathieu Perrault (8) on their way to a 5-0 win.
Connor Hellebuyck picked up his second shutout of the season.
“Later in the game, he just looked solid. You get to a point in the game when he looks that way, you think, I don’t think they’re going to beat him. We’re going to have to make a pretty egregious mistake here,” said head coach Paul Maurice.
“He’s picked the times when to play the puck, picked the times not to, moved it well when he needed to. His rebound control was really, really good tonight. He’s world class,” the head coach continued.
The Jets’ goaltender only needed to make 19 saves. His record now sits at 19-10-3.
“All shutouts are a team shutout and tonight was no different,” said Hellebuyck.
“The guys were blocking shots and keeping them to the outside, really applying pressure in the o-zone. I thought we were a good team today.”
At the other end, Jake Allen stopped 20 of the 25 pucks thrown his way. His record drops to 5-5-4.
Both teams traded hooking minors early in the first creating 1:07 of 4-on-4 action.
The Jets didn’t manage a single shot during their opening powerplay, which worked out to be just shy of a minute.
Winnipeg’s first shot on Jake Allen didn’t come until 8:55 of the opening frame courtesy of Derek Forbort. At that point in time, Montreal had already fired six pucks at Hellebuyck.
The slow start didn’t cost Winnipeg on the scoresheet though, as the game remained scoreless after twenty minutes.
Montreal ended up trimming Winnipeg in first period shots 6-5.
Just prior to the halfway mark of the second period, the Jets opened the scoring.
Jake Allen dove way out of his crease to poke a loose puck out to Jeff Petry, thwarting a Pierre-Luc Dubois breakaway opportunity.
Petry immediately turned it over to Paul Stastny, who took advantage of Allen being out of position, firing the puck glove side. 1-0 Jets.
With Jonathan Drouin in the sin bin for hooking, the Jets capitalized on their second powerplay of the contest.
Nikolaj Ehlers fired a wrister from the point past Allen who was fighting a screen from Mathieu Perreault.
Perreault nudged Allen’s glove while gliding in front of the crease just prior to the puck crossing the line. The play was challenged by Montreal to no avail.
“I didn’t know that I even touched him,” said Perreault.
“I was just coming across the crease but I’m not in the crease, I’m on top of the crease, and he extended his arm out. I’m entitled to that ice.”
With just 28 seconds left in the first Derek Forbort found twine for the first time in 31 games.
The 6-foot-4 defenseman took a pass from Josh Morrissey and walked right in — almost to the goal line — before unloading into the top corner for his second tally this season.
Josh Morrissey notched his 100th career NHL assist in the process of Winnipeg increasing its lead to three.
In the third period, tempers began to boil over as Corey Perry received a game ejection for what appeared to be a routine scrum in front of Connor Hellebuyck.
Less than a minute after the incident, Joel Edmundson b-lined to the Jets’ net after a whistle to go after Logan Stanley. Edmundson was given a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Andrew Copp cashed in on the powerplay, potting his 14th goal of the year. 4-0 Jets.
Tempers continued to flare as Jake Evans clubbed Josh Morrissey in the face with a glove during a battle in the Montreal corner.
Evans and Morrissey dropped the mitts for a tilt that lasted roughly six seconds. Morrissey got a few shots in before being wrestled to the ice by the 24-year-old Evans.
Despite the rough stuff, Winnipeg’s offence kept humming as Mathieu Perreault stripped the puck from Shea Weber right in front of the net and ripped home his eighth of the year.
That would be it for the scoring in this one as the Jets put up five goals for the first time since March 24 in Vancouver.
The win sees Winnipeg improve to 24-13-3 this season.
The Jets have three games remaining on their road trip with a date against Ottawa on tap for Monday night.
The puck drops at 6 p.m. with the Anchor Products pre-game show going live on 680 CJOB at 4 p.m.