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Canadiens @ Jets Top Six Minutes: Starting the road trip off right

Dec 18, 2023; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen (34) covers the puck as Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jayden Struble (47) checks Winnipeg Jets forward Morgan Barron (36) during the second period at Canada Life Centre. | Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

First period

  • The Jake Evans line gets the start, seeing if Josh Anderson can get a goal early perhaps?
  • A lot of stoppages early on. It is an early game for the Jets, so they probably need some time to get going.
  • A couple of shots for each team in the opening six minutes. I expect it to open up more eventually.
  • The Jets have now started to find their legs and get more consistent pressure.
  • Nick Suzuki sets up Kaiden Guhle for a shot, so Montreal is still getting some opportunities to go on offence.
  • A tipped puck goes off the post behind Allen, but stays out.
  • It’s going to be hard for Martin St-Louis to play the fourth line if this keeps up. They just had an extended defensive-zone presence.
  • Gabriel Vilardi turned and said something to Allen after a save. I think it may have been an apology for whacking his glove looking for the puck.
  • Caufield makes another great backcheck to help his defencemen out of a jam.
  • Cole Perfetti gets the puck in the slot and he hits the post. the Jets are close to getting a goal here.
  • But Montreal is still countering on ensuing shifts.
  • Josh Morrissey stops and lets the puck pass in front of him hoping for an icing. The linesman is having none of that.
  • Justin Barron gets in trouble taking too much time to move a puck. That’s been an issue for him.
  • The pace really picked up as that period went on, and they played the final eight minutes with end-to-end action.
  • Winnipeg was the more dangerous time, especially with two posts, but the Canadiens are still in it.

Second period

  • Juraj Slafkovský tries to shield himself with his arm and ends up with his hand in Mason Appleton’s face. He’s called for a roughing penalty.
  • The poor guy doesn’t know what he can and can’t do on the ice with this level of officiating. I guess he’s just like us in that regard.
  • Out of the box, Slafkovský wins a puck battle in the corner (as he does), and it nearly results in a goal on a point shot that just trickled wide off Connor Hellebuyck.
  • Mike Matheson step up to keep the puck in, Evans gets him the puck back, and the rebound off Matheson’s shot goes off Anderson and in. He has so much confidence now he doesn’t even need to use his stick to score.
  • Anderson is making his way up the Rocket Richard list. Should be at the top by the end of this trip I reckon.
  • Slafkovský levels Morrissey with a big hit. That’s karma for that attempt at getting an icing call.
  • A rare misplay from Jayden Struble leads directly to a point-blank chance for Morgan Barron.
  • Kaiden Guhle staples Appleton to the boards behind Allen’s net. That’s karma for pretending he’d been dealt a mortal wound by Slafkovský’s glove
  • Nino Niederreiter heads right to the dressing room after getting hit with a Neal Pionk point shot. I don’t know what that’s karma for.
  • Struble plants his check on the ice and starts a counter-attack the opposite way. It’s physical game tonight.
  • Evans takes a knee from Brenden Dillon. He looks to be okay. At least it wasn’t his head this time.
  • Christian Dvorak puts the puck in after pass across from Anderson. But was the pass made with Anderson’s hand? Toronto is trying really hard to overturn it, scrutinizing every frame in slow motion apparently.
  • The call on the ice in “confirmed,” so all that scrutineering found an angle showing a stick touching the puck. Montreal is right back on the power play.
  • Anderson might be able to score without a stick, but he still had to use one to get his assists.
  • Now that it’s official, Brendan Gallagher has his 200th assist.
  • The greatest chance is a one-time bullet from Jesse Ylönen, but Hellebuyck snags it.
  • The Dvorak line gets stuck on the ice for 90 seconds, and the Jets take advantage of their fatigue to get on the board. Gabe Vilardi gets to the puck before David Savard can.
  • It wasn’t as good as it could have been, but the Canadiens won another second period, and carry a lead into the third.

Third period

  • Justin Barron stuck with his man a bit too long after the puck left the vicinity, and the third period starts with a quick Jets power play.
  • A short-handed shot from Nick Suzuki ramps up Morrissey’s stick and hits the defenceman right on the cheekbone. He has a large gash on his face as he throws off his gloves and heads to the dressing room.
  • Allen is going to face significantly fewer than 45 shots in this game as he did the last time he faced Winnipeg, but he’s looking very strong tracking every puck the Jets send his way.
  • Like the Islanders did two nights ago, the Jets are controlling the play in this third period. Montreal will need to learn how to play with a lead.
  • After a TV timeout, a faceoff-win-and-change from Sean Monahan allows the Canadiens to get into the offensive zone. Caufield find Suzuki in the slot, but his shot just hits Hellebuyck who didn’t really follow the play.
  • Morrissey is back on the ice, probably after getting 20 stitches or so.
  • The Suzuki line forces the Jets to play a shift in their own end.
  • But on the next shift, the Jets tie it on a Cole Perfetti shot. Monahan didn’t recognize the danger Perfetti posed at the side of the net.
  • Now the top line gets stuck in its own end for an extended period, and Allen smartly pounces on the puck to get a change.
  • Since the tying goal, the Jets have settled down. Or maybe the Canadiens have. The play is fairly even now.
  • A late icing by Winnipeg gives the Canadiens 33 seconds to look for a winner.
  • They don’t get that, but they do get a power play as Matheson is tripped trying to get to the slot.
  • They already have one goal, Can they get a second? It will have to come in overtime.
  • The Canadiens will not be going 0-7-0 on this road trip.


  • Lots of passing, not enough shooting.
  • Matheson and Lowry both go to the box after Matheson drops on the puck and Lowry cross-checks him in the back about seven times.
  • With Matheson in the box, Barron takes over the top unit, and he’s the one who scores after jumping up to the top of the slot.
  • Barron had the first Habs goal of this season series, and he just scored the last one.
  • Habs win 3-2, and start this road trip in excellent fashion.
  • Jake Allen needs to play the Winnipeg Jets every game.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) This is the winning strategy

2) I don’t think even he knew he was this good

1) We’re going to have to have another ceremony at the Bell Centre now

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