Winnipeg Jets Spoil Claude Julien's Return

Joel Armia also scored for Winnipeg (27-29-5), and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 19 shots. The Jets dropped five of the past six after Thursday's overtime loss at Pittsburgh, and sit four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

Julien, who took over from the fired Therrien last Tuesday, is still getting to know the Canadiens players after only one game and his third practice Monday in Brossard.

They skated hard, battled and worked, and that's just how new coach Claude Julien wants the Montreal Canadiens' practices to be.

Julien, who was sacked by the Boston Bruins on February 7th, was hired by Montreal on Tuesday. Julien also coached Montreal from 2003-06. And that's not system.

"What we want to try to do, and what we did today, is to try to be better defensively for goals against and chances against", he said.

The Jets wasted no time in the third period, however, with a Mathieu Perreault goal scored just 1:16 into the third period. Laine added an empty-netter at 18:43. Goaltender Carey Price surrendered four goals in three consecutive games, and his save percentage is.879 in five February appearances.

But Montreal (31-20-8) was sloppy in its first game back following a bye week, turning the puck over 18 times.

With Montreal on the power play in the second period, defenseman Nathan Beaulieu skated out of his own zone, and then tried to dangle the puck around Armia in the neutral zone. (Where's Patrice Bergeron when you need him?) And while the Bruins had plenty of close losses under Julien this year (15 of their 23 losses were either by one or two goals), this loss was unlike those in the sense that it didn't come with the Canadiens dominating the puck, as they were out-attempted by the Jets 59-to-49, including a brutal 33-to-20 shot advantage that favored Winnipeg.

"We have enough players on this team that can score goals, but we've got to start in the right place and that's when we get the puck back quickly".

"He wanted it to be 40 minutes of high pace, high intensity, so when it comes to game time it's second nature", said defenceman Jeff Petry.

"It's what happens when you don't win games", said Gallagher.

In one of his first coaching decisions since rejoining the Canadiens, Julien put Alex Galchenyuk on the first line with Alexander Radulov and Pacioretty. It was tough to create anything offensively when you're playing in your own end.

The Russian's forecheck on Wheeler forced a giveaway in Winnipeg's zone, with the puck falling right to Galchenyuk.

The defeat extended Montreal's losing streak to three games.

Andrei Markov scored in the first period to give Montreal a 1-0 lead.

"He's excited coming off injury", Galchenyuk said about Gallagher, who has only played two games since being hit on the left hand with a Shea Weber slapshot on January 4 in Dallas. "That's an area we want to clean up". Called up from the AHL's St. John's IceCaps on Friday, Canadiens C/W Michael McCarron was in the lineup, while C David Desharnais, RW Sven Andrighetto and D Greg Pateryn were healthy scratches.

The Canadiens enter their game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV) with a 1-6-1 record in their previous eight games and a 12-14-5 record since December 11.

  • Julie Sanders