Montreal, QC, Canada (4E Sports) – Michael Frolik scored the game-winning goal early in the third period while Al Montoya stopped 30 shots to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens Sunday at Bell Centre.
Tobias Enstrom also scored for the Jets (27-25-5), who improved to 8-2-0 under new coach Paul Maurice.
After allowing 24 goals in the final five games under former coach Claude Noel, the Jets have allowed 21 goals in 10 games under Maurice.
The Jets also moved to within four points of the Vancouver Canucks, who currently hold the final Western Conference spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Brian Gionta scored the lone goal for the Canadiens (29-21-6), who were swept in their traditional pair of matinees on Super Bowl weekend (0-1-1), losing each game by the same score.
Carey Price made 33 saves in goal for the Canadiens, but committed a costly turnover that led to Frolik’s winning goal.
The Canadiens’ power play continued to struggle, going 0-for-3, with two of them coming in the third period with Montreal down 2-1. The Canadiens are 4-for-44 on the power play in their past 14 games.
Montoya, starting for the second time in the Jets’ past 11 games, was outstanding in goal for Winnipeg, making a number of strong saves in the first half of the game to keep Montreal off the scoreboard.
With the game tied 1-1 after 40 minutes, the Jets took the lead again at 1:04 of the third period on a mistake by Price, who left his net to play the puck only to lose it to Andrew Ladd. The Jets captain quickly sent the puck in front and found Frolik, who had an empty net to shoot at for his 12th goal of the season and his second in as many games.
After a scoreless first period, Winnipeg opened the scoring midway through the second. Enstrom skated along the boards and around the net before coming out the other side and banking a shot in off Price for his sixth goal of the season at 9:13.
Minutes later, Gionta took a feed in the slot from Tomas Plekanec and quickly let go of a snap shot that beat Motoya high on the glove side for the Canadiens captain’s 10th goal of the season at 17:06 , tying the game at 1-1.