3 Keys: Jets at Canadiens, Game 4 of second round


No. 3 Jets at No. 4 Canadiens 


Montreal leads best-of-7 series, 3-0

Jeff Petry will be a game-time decision for the Montreal Canadiens when they look to sweep the Winnipeg Jets in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Second Round at Bell Centre on Monday.

The defenseman sustained an upper-body injury in the second period of a 5-1 victory in Game 3 on Sunday and did not return. Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said Monday that Petry was undergoing more tests before a decision on his availability would be reached. Xavier Ouellet, who, like Petry, plays the right side, or Alexander Romanov would draw into the lineup if Petry can’t play.

“There are options and those are the things we’re going to be looking at when we make the final decision if we need to,” Ducharme said.

Petry, who has three assists in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games, led Canadiens defensemen in scoring with 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) in the regular season.

The Canadiens have not won two playoff series in the same season since 2014 when they reached the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the New York Rangers in six games.

Teams that take a 3-0 lead are 194-4 (98.0 percent) winning a best-of-7 playoff series, including 2-0 this season. Montreal is 33-0 when leading 3-0 in a best-of-7 series, including 22 sweeps. Winnipeg is 0-2 when trailing by that margin.

The Jets have scored one goal in the past two games after scoring 14 goals in a four-game sweep against the Edmonton Oilers in the first round. Forward Adam Lowry‘s goal at 17:51 of the second period in Game 3 ended a scoreless drought of 99:33 for Winnipeg.

Although they have been outscored 11-4 in the series, Jets coach Paul Maurice said the margin is not indicative of the play.

“The highs and lows are probably not nearly as evident in our room as they are everywhere else,” he said.

Here are 3 keys for Game 4:

1. Canadiens must remain focused

The prospect of the Canadiens reaching the third round has elicited memories of Montreal’s 1993 run to the Stanley Cup. But can Montreal players shield themselves from it long enough not to be distracted?

“[1993] was a great team,” Ducharme said. “The team really jelled together and went through some adversity against Quebec before getting on a roll. But every year is different and we’re not thinking about that kind of thing inside. We’re focused on the moment. I know from the outside, maybe you can see some things that are the same. But we have a long way to go.”

2. Jets need net-front presence

One reason the struggling Jets offense has scored four goals in three games is their failure to get bodies in front of Canadiens goalie Carey Price. On the other hand, Montreal has done a good job of causing havoc around Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck, specifically forwards Corey Perry and Brendan Gallagher.

“This series is blue paint,” Maurice said. “They’ve gotten to ours and we haven’t gotten to theirs and that’s an absolute fact.”

3. Quick start for Montreal

The Canadiens have won six consecutive games and have not trailed in this series. They have not trailed since Game 4 of their Stanley Cup First Round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. One of the keys to that success: they’ve opened the scoring in each of their past six games.

Jets projected lineup

Kyle ConnorPaul StastnyBlake Wheeler

Andrew CoppPierre-Luc DuboisNikolaj Ehlers

Mathieu Perreault — Adam Lowry — Mason Appleton

Kristian VesalainenNate ThompsonTrevor Lewis

Josh MorrisseyNeal Pionk

Derek ForbortTucker Poolman

Logan StanleyJordie Benn

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Jansen Harkins, Dominic Toninato, Ville Heinola, Sami Niku, Eric Comrie, Mikhail Berdin, David Gustafsson, Cole Kehler, Joona Luoto, Dylan Samberg, Marko Dano, Nelson Nogier, CJ Suess

Injured: Dylan DeMelo (lower body), Nathan Beaulieu (hand)

Suspended: Mark Scheifele

Canadiens projected lineup

Artturi LehkonenPhillip Danault — Brendan Gallagher

Tyler ToffoliNick SuzukiCole Caufield

Paul ByronJesperi KotkaniemiJosh Anderson

Joel ArmiaEric Staal — Corey Perry

Ben ChiarotShea Weber

Joel Edmundson — Jeff Petry

Erik GustafssonBrett Kulak

Carey Price

Jake Allen

Scratched: Tomas Tatar, Michael Frolik, Alex Belzile, Jon Merrill, Alexander Romanov, Xavier Ouellet, Cayden Primeau

Injured: Jake Evans (concussion)

Status report

The Jets are expected to use the same lineup from Game 3.

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