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Barron Scores OT Power-Play Goal as Canadiens Edge Jets 3-2

December 18, 2023 9:55 PM | The Canadian Press


By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG — Justin Barron couldn’t have picked a better audience to see him score an overtime power-play goal that lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

The defenceman fired the puck through traffic to beat goalie Connor Hellebuyck 1:09 into the extra period in front of his parents and his brother — Jets forward Morgan Barron, who was on the ice.

“Pretty cool,” said Justin Barron, the younger brother. “I wasn’t necessarily expecting to get on the ice there and then it’s funny how it works out. (Adam) Lowry goes off so my brother gets on for them, and then (Mike Matheson) goes off for us and I get on. Yeah, definitely pretty special to do that.”

He planned to text his brother about the victory, but didn’t send it right after the game.

“No, no, god no. I’ll go see my family and say hi to them, but I can’t rub it in yet, I don’t think,” he said.

Jets forward Cole Perfetti tied the game 2-2 off a rebound with 7:36 remaining in the third period.

Winnipeg winger Nikolaj Ehlers was called for tripping with 27 seconds left in the third period.

Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said his team is “locked in right now.”

“It’s the most organized that we’ve been since I’ve taken this job,” said St. Louis, who was first hired on an interim basis in February 2022.

“It takes time to build that, different parts of the game, and we’re able to expand on some of the details inside the different concepts, different part of the game that we want to address. So I think we’re just evolving as a team, but as a group I feel we’re really locked in.”

Josh Anderson had a goal and assist and Christian Dvorak also scored for the Canadiens (14-13-4), who have points in four of their past five games (3-1-1).

Anderson’s fourth goal of the season followed the pair he scored in Montreal’s 5-3 win over the New York Islanders last Saturday.

Jake Allen made 30 saves for his first win in eight games (1-6-1). His previous victory was a 4-3 shootout win over the Jets on Oct. 28.

“I feel like the last few games I’ve been playing well, just haven’t found a way to get that win and I’m just going to stay patient,” Allen said.

Gabriel Vilardi also scored for the Jets (18-9-3), who snapped a two-game win streak. Hellebuyck finished with 23 saves in front of 13,363 fans in the second game of a four-game homestand at Canada Life Centre.

“It was a good team comeback to get that point, it’s big for us, but obviously we don’t want to put ourselves in a 2-0 hole in the first place,” Perfetti said.

“Once we have momentum like that, we want to be able to win that game. A little frustrating, it sucks, but it’s the way it is.”

There was no scoring in the first period and Montreal led 2-1 after the second.

Shots in the opening period favoured Winnipeg 6-5, with Jets defenceman Dylan Samberg and Perfetti each hitting a post.

Winnipeg went on the power play early in the second period, but three shots didn’t beat Allen.

“Listen, in that first period, there wasn’t much room out there for either team,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said. “It was fast-paced, it was a good period.

“Second period, honestly it comes down to special teams. It’s another game that we lost (the special-teams battle) and that’s what cost us the extra point.”

Anderson got the visitors on the board when Matheson fired the puck at the net and it went in off Anderson’s skate at 4:57.

Anderson also factored into Dvorak’s power-play goal at 15:04.

Bowness unsuccessfully challenged the goal. Anderson had gloved the puck in the air but didn’t appear to get his stick on it before it went over to Dvorak and he put it in the net.

“You feel it hit your stick, but you don’t know if that’s somebody touching your stick or if it’s the puck,” Anderson said. “Obviously, they reviewed it and counted it as a good goal so I’ll take it.”

Vilardi made it 2-1 with 56 seconds left in the period when he capitalized on a loose puck at the side of the net. It marked his fifth goal of the season and fourth in his past three games.

Winnipeg went on the power play 45 seconds into the third, but couldn’t tie it up.

Perfetti achieved that at 12:24 with his 10th goal of the season and 20th point in 30 games.

FRANCHISE STREAKS

The Jets are still riding a franchise streak of only allowing three or fewer goals in 20 consecutive games.

Winnipeg also leads the league this season with 25 games of holding opponents to three or fewer goals.

UP NEXT

Jets: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

Canadiens: Play on the road Thursday against the Minnesota Wild.

CP - The Canadian Press