|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT, April 30, 2021
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec Attendance: 0
Canadiens look to get back on track at home vs. Jets
Winnipeg Jets at Montreal Canadiens
- The Jets have won six of the eight meetings with the Canadiens this season, including three of the four meetings in Montreal -- most recently outscoring the Habs 9-2 in a two-game set there on April 8 and 10.
- Winnipeg has lost five in a row -- all at home and all in regulation -- getting outscored 21-6 over that span. The Jets have not lost six straight regulation games since the then-Thrashers dropped the first six games of the 2007-08 season.
- Mark Scheifele's next goal will mark his 200th career goal, while his next point will mark his 500th career point. He would be the fourth player in franchise history to reach each milestone, joining Ilya Kovalchuk (328g, 615p), Blake Wheeler (225g, 686p) and Bryan Little (217g, 521p) on each list.
- Kyle Connor has 10 points (6g, 4a) in eight games against the Canadiens, but was held off the scoresheet in the most recent meeting on April 10. Connor's six goals have come in three multi-goal games -- he's just the second skater in the last 20 seasons to record three multi-goal games against Montreal in a single season, along with Ottawa's Dany Heatley in 2008-09. The last to do so four times was the Rangers' Vic Hadfield in 1971-72.
- Montreal enters the final day of April with a 6-10-0 record in the month, tied for the second-most regulation losses in the month (Devils, 3-11-2). This is just the fifth month in franchise history that the Habs have lost 10+ games in regulation, joining December 2015 (3-11-0), November 2000 (5-10-0), March 1984 (6-10-0), and January 1940 (1-10-1).
- Nick Suzuki scored the Canadiens' lone goal in Wednesday's loss to Toronto, his third straight game with a point -- he had just three points (g, 2a) in his previous nine games. Suzuki has 10 points (3g, 7a) in April, matching his career high total for any calendar month (also December 2019 and February 2020).
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With a six-point lead in the chase for the final playoff position in the North Division, the Montreal Canadiens remain in control of their fate.
However, with Montreal having dropped three of four games and in a 4-9-0 swoon, its hold on a playoff position is precarious going into Friday's home game against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Canadiens (21-18-9, 51 points) lost 4-1 at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday to start a four-game homestand, and they are feeling the tension of watching their lead on the Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks dissipate.
"We're in a playoff position right now, but it's not easy," said forward Josh Anderson. "You've got to come out and compete for these next eight games. You want to be in the playoffs, you've got to deserve to be in the playoffs. We've just got to find ways to win.
"I know that some guys aren't going to have it every night, but you've just got to compete and just battle together and get through it together. We have to buy into this together and stick together. And keep being positive. I know we're going to get through this."
Both the Canadiens and Flames have eight games remaining. The Canucks are 16 points behind the Jets, but they have 13 games remaining.
Montreal's clash against the Jets for the ninth and final time this season is a case of two struggling clubs looking to find their form. The Jets (27-19-3, 57 points) are on a season worst five-game losing streak that's watched them fall to third spot in the division.
The latest loss to Toronto encapsulated Montreal's woes of late: The Canadiens are not playing with enough consistency, and it's costing them.
"We showed glimpses," Montreal's Nick Suzuki said. "We've got to play a full 60 minutes. ... Playing like that won't win us any games, so we're just worried about ourselves right now and we've got to fix what was wrong."
Winnipeg has won six of eight meetings this season -- three in overtime.
The Jets lost a 3-1 home game to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday to end a dreadful homestand in which they lost every game in regulation time and were outscored 21-6. That said, their most recent loss was a better performance than the previous few.
"It was a step in the right direction, but we can't settle for losing," goaltender Connor Hellebuyck said. "We're going to snap out of this, and it's going to be big, and we're going to carry that momentum. It's just a matter of time.
"We're not scoring as much as we were, but that just means once we start scoring, we're going to be scoring a lot," Hellebuyck added. "Playoffs are right around the corner, so if we're saving all our goals for the playoffs that's huge. I think you know our team is very offensive. They're going to come."
With his team's next victory, coach Paul Maurice will become just the third coach in NHL history to win 300 games for two organizations. He also reached that mark while guiding the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes. Only Scotty Bowman (Montreal and Detroit) and Joel Quenneville (St. Louis and Chicago) have accomplished that feat.
That milestone, however, is a small item amidst a skid.
"When you go on a slide like this it definitely sucks," Jets forward Mark Scheifele said. "It's just a matter of working at it. Come to the rink, being sharp, focusing on working on our game. When you work hard, good things will happen. That's why I'm confident in this group that good things will happen."
--Field Level Media
Updated April 29, 2021