WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Blake Wheeler scored two goals and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 27 shots for his third shutout of the season, leading the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-0 victory over the slumping Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
Wheeler, who also had an assist, has overcome early scoring troubles with three goals in the last three games to increase his season total to five. The 6-foot-5 winger has also been one of the Jets' best set-up guys with 19 assists.
Carey Price made 30 saves for the Canadiens, who lost their fifth straight.
Montreal still hasn't won since interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth replaced the fired Jacques Martin last week.
The move to promote Cunneyworth, who played with the old Winnipeg Jets for a very short time during the 1989-90 season, has been controversial in Quebec because he doesn't speak French. It's been decades since the Canadiens have had a non-French speaking head coach.
Looking for a quick start against the slumping Canadiens, the Jets struck early with a power-play goal as Wheeler took a cross-ice pass from Dustin Byfuglien and scored 3:18 into the game with Montreal's Hal Gill serving a double-minor for high-sticking.
Despite allowing the two goals in the first period, Price was outstanding as the Jets outshot the Canadiens 13-6 over the first 20 minutes.
However, he gave up Wheeler's second goal of the game 39 seconds into the second period on a shot from the right faceoff dot that the goalie likely should have blocked.
Pavelec, who got an assist on Wheeler's second goal, was particularly sharp in the second period, stopping 14 shots as the Canadiens pressed to get on the board.
Neither team mustered much offense in the third period, with Montreal looking tired and the Jets content to just chip the puck deep. Stapleton closed the scoring with 2:24 to go.