Evgeny Svechnikov scored at 11:01 of the third period to snap a 2-2 tie and Adam Lowry added an empty-netter as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Canadiens 4-2 Monday at the Bell Centre.
Josh Anderson tied the score at 6:19 of the third period when he deflected Jeff Petry’s shot from the blue line. It was Anderson’s 18th goal of the season and the 100th goal of his career.
The win kept Winnipeg’s faint playoff hopes alive. The Jets are five points behind Dallas in the race for the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference but the Stars hold two games in hand. The Canadiens remain 31st overall in the NHL standings which is not a bad place to be if you want a good chance of gaining the first overall choice in the NHL draft lottery.
The Canadiens scored first when Joel Armia pounced on the rebound after Christian Dvorak’s shot caromed off Connor Hellebuyck’s shoulder.
But the Montreal lead was short-lived.
Morgan Barron, the older brother of Canadiens rookie defenseman Justin Barron, tied the game at 1:46 when he took a drop pass from Nikolaj Ehlers and beat Samuel Montembeault. The goal came seconds after Montembeault stretched to make a glove save off Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Barron added an assist when he set up Paul Stastny in the slot for a go-ahead goal at the four-minute mark.
The first period was relatively uneventful and each team had four shots through the first 15 minutes before Winnipeg turned on the jets and finished the period with a 9-6 edge.
Montembeault, who was playing because Jake Allen was injured Saturday and Carey Price is waiting for the right moment to return, moved across the crease to make a save on Adam Lowry and then then got his stick on a high shot by from Ehlers as first period ended.
Rookie Jordan Harris made some fans cheer with some impressive moves early in the game. As he approached the blue line, he eluded one defender by passing to himself off the boards. He then deked another defenseman down low to get a shot on net.
Later in the period, Harris lofted a pass from deep in his own zone and Nick Suzuki was able to catch up to the puck as it landed in the Jets’ zone. Those are two plays you don’t expect to see from someone who was playing his fourth NHL game.
The power play was not a factor. Each team had its own opportunity and neither was able to register a shot on goal.
The Canadiens travel to Columbus for a game Wednesday and wrap up the week against the Capitals in Washington on Saturday.
There was no chance of any residual hard feelings stemming from Mark Scheifele’s hit on Jake Evans in the playoffs last season because Scheifele suffered an upper-body injury Sunday in the second period in the Jets’ 4-3 win in Ottawa.
The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team was introduced during a break in the first period. The Stingers won the U Sports national championship last month in Charlottetown, winning three games by an aggregate score of 13-0. It was the third national title for Concordia and its first since it won back-to-back titles in 1998-99.