Canadiens look to get back on track vs. Jets in Winnipeg

The Montreal Canadiens enjoyed a fast start to their season-high seven-game road trip only to veer off course in their last contest.

The Canadiens aim to return to their winning ways on Monday when they visit the Winnipeg Jets in the teams' final game before the NHL's holiday break.

Montreal answered a disastrous eight-game winless stretch (0-5-3) with six victories in its next eight, including successful stops in Vancouver and Calgary to begin the lengthy trek.

A porous start and some untimely penalties led to the Canadiens' undoing in Saturday's 4-3 setback in Edmonton.

"I'm disappointed. We felt like we beat ourselves," Montreal coach Claude Julien said. "Some really bad penalties in the offensive zone at bad times, and some really bad decisions.

"I don't think we were sharp (on Saturday). It's as simple as that. You're seeing a team that never gave up, but at the end we only have ourselves to look at because we beat ourselves."

Max Domi scored in his second consecutive contest and has six points (two goals, four assists) over his last five after mustering just two assists in his previous eight.

Defenseman Jeff Petry collected a goal and two assists on Saturday against his former team. He also scored in Montreal's 3-1 victory over Winnipeg on March 30, giving the Canadiens a two-game season sweep in the series.

While Jets captain Blake Wheeler was held off the scoresheet in those two contests, the 33-year-old recorded a goal and an assist in Saturday's 6-0 romp over Minnesota to become the franchise's all-time leading scorer.

"For a guy that works that hard every day, you deserve to have good things happen," Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said of Wheeler. "To become the all-time leader in a big game for us, but in his home state and to have his mom and dad here, that is fantastic for him and he's earned it."

Wheeler's 616 points eclipsed the previous mark set by Ilya Kovalchuk, who played for the franchise when it was known as the Atlanta Thrashers.

"It's not going to be long before one of these guys on this team passes me and that will be a good moment, too," Wheeler said.

Perhaps one of those guys will be either Patrik Laine or Mark Scheifele, as the former scored twice on Saturday to boost his goal total to five in his past six games while the latter has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in his last nine.

Scheifele leads Winnipeg with 17 goals and 37 points this season. The 26-year-old scored in the Jets' 5-2 setback with the Canadiens on Feb. 7, marking his seventh goal and ninth point in 11 career meetings with the club before being held off the scoresheet in the rematch.

Connor Hellebuyck turned aside all 31 shots he faced on Saturday to record his third shutout of the season. The 26-year-old likely will get the start against Montreal, against which he has lost three of four decisions (1-2-1) with a 3.75 goals-against average.

Former Hart and Vezina Trophy recipient Carey Price is in line to provide the opposition. He sports a sparkling 14-5-4 record with three shutouts and a 2.19 goals-against average in 24 career encounters with Winnipeg.

--Field Level Media

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