Buffalo at Winnipeg

Jets' Montoya makes 27 saves, shuts out Sabres


WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Al Montoya spent 2013 as Winnipeg's backup goalie. He is now making a strong push for the regular starting job as he heads into the second half of the season.

Montoya made 27 saves and led the Jets to a 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

Keaton Ellerby, Jacob Trouba and Anthony Peluso provided all the offense necessary for Montoya, who earned his second shutout of the season. Winnipeg tied a season best with its third straight win.

"For me, it's just about doing the right things in practice and working hard," said Montoya, who didn't offer an opinion on whether he deserved No. 1 status.

Montoya (8-2-1), making his second straight start after relieving Ondrej Pavelec in the first period of a game last week against Minnesota, has won six consecutive decisions.

"I'm fully aware of what Al Montoya's doing and how he's playing," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "He played very well again. You've got to give him full credit. You can't lose sight of the fact that Pavelec is our starting goalie."

Sabres backup Jhonas Enroth got his 12th start of the season and handed the Jets (19-18-5) the lead when a weak point shot from Ellerby got past his blocker in the first period.

"I saw it all the way," Enroth said. "He literally threw a curveball at me. It was a knuckle puck that dipped right in front of me, and I just got a piece of it."

The Sabres (11-25-4) thought they had tied it when Marcus Foligno banged the puck past Montoya, but the net was dislodged before the puck went in. The call was upheld following a video review.

"If that goes our way it's a different kind of game," said Sabres forward Drew Stafford, who knocked off the net.

Trouba, a rookie defenceman, one-timed Chris Thorburn's pass and beat Enroth at 13:06 of the second period for his third goal of the season.

Peluso added an empty-net goal with 1:28 remaining.

The Jets have said they will need to string together more than just a three-game streak to make a push for a Western Conference playoff spot.

"I think every team struggles with consistency," Trouba said. "It's part of the game, and it's what you're striving for."

Enroth finished with 23 saves. The Sabres have scored only 16 goals in his 12 starts.

Buffalo failed to score on four power plays, and the Jets were blanked the three times they had the man advantage.

While Montoya's $601,000 salary is $3.3 million less than Pavelec's, his play could soon force Noel to re-evaluate the way he splits his goalies' workloads.

Pavelec is 11-16-4, with a .902 save percentage. Montoya increased his save percentage to .934.

The Sabres, owners of the NHL's worst record, had earned points in seven of their previous nine games, including a win against the Jets.


Buffalo forward Ville Leino, who was shaken up against Washington on Sunday, was in the lineup but left after just three first-period shifts because of a lower-body injury. ... Thorburn played in his 500th NHL game. ... Winnipeg forward Blake Wheeler's 10 goals in December were second only to the 12 scored by Chicago's Patrick Sharp.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Buffalo (11-25-4)0000
Winnipeg  (19-18-5) «1113
Three Stars
A. Montoya

Saves: 27
Save Pct.: 1.000
J. Trouba

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
C. Thorburn

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

February 19, 2018
NHL power rankings (02/18) (0:48)
February 4, 2018
NHL power rankings (02/04)
January 7, 2018
NHL Power Rankings (1/7)
August 29, 2017
2017-18 NHL preview: Winnipeg Jets
Scoring Summary
10:42 - Keaton Ellerby (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Ladd
13:06 - Jacob Trouba (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Thorburn, Setoguchi
18:32 - Anthony Peluso (2), Empty Net. Assist: Kane, Scheifele
Penalty Summary
02:28Scott, 2 min, Roughing
04:10Wheeler, 2 min, Cross Check
04:10Wheeler, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
14:58Moulson, 2 min, Delay of Game
16:59Byfuglien, 2 min, Tripping
19:23Enstrom, 2 min, Interference
11:59Moulson, 2 min, Interference
18:32Scott, 10 min, Gross Misconduct
Shots On Goal
Jhonas Enroth59:30232
Al Montoya60:00270
Game Information
Attendance - 15004
Referees - Paul Devorski, Gord Dwyer
Linesmen - John Grandt, Brian Mach
Other Games
Pitt 1 Final
NJ 2
NYR 2 Final
Fla 1
StL 2 Final
Min 1
Mon 4 Final
Car 5
NYI 5 Final
Bos 3
SJ 3 Final
Ana 6
LA 2 Final
Dal 3
Colu 3 Final
Colo 5
Phi 4 Final
Cal 1
Edm 3 Final
Pho 4