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Ehlers guides Jets past Habs in Kovalchuk's debut

Ehlers guides Jets past Habs in Kovalchuk's debut
Image Credit: pixabay

Nikolaj Ehlers notched a goal and an assist to lead the visiting Winnipeg Jets to a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night. Josh Morrissey and Andrew Copp also scored, and Blake Wheeler assisted twice for the Jets, who broke a two-game losing streak and won for the just the third time in 10 games (3-5-2).

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 29 shots as Winnipeg improved to 15-0-0 when leading after two periods. Adam Lowry played in his 400th game. Ben Chiarot tallied two goals to reach a career-high seven in his first multi-goal game, and Tomas Tatar contributed two assists for Montreal, which lost its sixth straight (0-5-1).

Carey Price made 24 saves, and Max Domi's nine-game point streak ended. Former 2001 No. 1 draft pick Ilya Kovalchuk, signed by Montreal last week, made a successful debut for the Canadiens with an assist, four shots on goal, a plus-2 rating and 19:25 of ice time.

The home crowd perked up when the 36-year-old Kovalchuk, wearing his familiar No. 17 given to him by new teammate Brett Kulak, hopped on the ice for his first shift in the first minute. He skated down and flipped a 41-foot wrister that was easily gloved by Hellebuyck, eliciting applause from the Bell Centre faithful. Morrissey put the Jets up 1-0 early in the second when his long shot beat Price at 1:32 for his fourth tally. The high-scoring duo of Ehlers and Wheeler soon made it a two-goal advantage with the Jets killing their first penalty.

With teammate Mathieu Perreault off for hooking and the NHL's worst penalty-kill unit on the ice, the pair broke out on a two-on-none break on Price, and Wheeler dumped a pass back to Ehlers for Winnipeg's third short-handed marker and Ehlers' 17th this year. But Chiarot, a Winnipeg defenseman for six seasons, made it 2-1 at 11:03 by wiring a laser from the top of the left circle that beat Hellebuyck on the short side.

A misplay by Cale Fleury at the blue line led to Copp's unassisted breakaway goal at 10:16 for a 3-1 lead, but Chiarot's second tally soon made it 3-2. Montreal went on a power play with 3:17 remaining, and Price went to the bench for the extra skater with 2:15 left.

But Winnipeg allowed just a couple of shots on goal and hung on for the victory.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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