Winnipeg Jets 3, Buffalo Sabres 0 - (Jets 19-18-5, 10-8-4 at home). For the second time this season, the Jets have a three-game winning streak. Al Montoya stopped 27 shots for his second shutout of the season and fifth of his career. Montoya has now won his last five starts and his last six decisions. The win was his eighth of the year, one shy of his career high.
The only goal of the opening period came from Keaton Ellerby; his second of the season. Andrew Ladd picked up the only assist, extending his point streak to four games (2-3-5). The Jets took four penalties in the opening period and were outshot 10-8. Both teams missed great chances in the first, with the Sabres having one disallowed as the net was ruled off the pegs.
The second goal of the game also came from the back end, with Jacob Trouba notching his third of the season. Chris Thorburn in his 500th NHL game and Devin Setoguchi picked up assists. Trouba now has 2-7-9 in December. Shots in the second were 12-10 in favour of Buffalo.
The Jets closed out the game with an empty net goal. With the wide open net in front of him, Evander Kane elected pass the puck to Anthony Peluso for his second of the year. Mark Scheifele also picked up an assist and continues to lead all rookies in points since November 23. He went into the game tied for the NHL lead in rookie assists. Final shots 27-26 Buffalo.
"The game wasn't as well played at our game in Colorado," said coach Claude Noel. "We did enough to get the win. First period set the tone – there was not pace because of the four penalties we took. Montoya was real strong. Happy we have won three in a row, but it was challenging to win the game. Not a lot of comfort in the way we played. We are going to have to be better on this upcoming trip and we know it. They had a lot of second chances and it could have been different if Montoya had not been sharp."
On the empty net goal: "Nice play. Very unselfish on Evander's part," said Noel.
As for who will start in goal next game: "can't lose sight of the fact Pavelec is our starting goaltender. We will play it game by game and we'll decide who starts the next game. The situation will play itself out."
The upcoming trip starts Thursday in Ottawa (Montoya had a shutout in Ottawa last year in a 1-0 Jets win), followed by two afternoon games, Saturday in Boston, Sunday in Pittsburgh. All games on TSN Jets and TSN 1290.