Nick Suzuki scores twice for Montreal Canadiens in 5-3 win over Winnipeg Jets
Montreal Canadiens' Jon Merrill and Winnipeg Jets' Pierre-Luc Dubois scramble to control the puck during first period NHL hockey action in Montreal on Friday, April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
MONTREAL -- Nick Suzuki scored twice for the Montreal Canadiens, including the game-winner, in a 5-3 win Friday over the visiting Winnipeg Jets.
Suzuki also assisted on a goal for a three-point night, and has four goals and two assists in his last four games.
Artturi Lehkonen, Joel Armia and Tyler Toffoli, with the empty-netter, also scored for Montreal (22-18-9).
Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen made 19 saves for the win.
Trevor Lewis had two goals and Paul Stastny also scored for the Jets (27-20-3), who lost their sixth straight in regulation.
Winnipeg starter Connor Helleybuyck had 30 saves in the loss.
The Jets rank third in the North Division four points up on the Canadiens, who hold down the fourth and final playoff berth. The Calgary Flames trail Montreal by six points.
Winnipeg won the season series with Montreal 6-3, including three overtime victories, but losing the finale allowed the Habs to gain ground.
Canadiens captain Shea Weber was a game-time scratch with a lower-body injury. The defenceman joined a number of key Montreal players in sickbay.
Goaltender Carey Price (concussion) and forwards Brendan Gallagher (broken thumb), Jonathan Drouin (leave of absence), Paul Byron and Tomas Tatar (lower body) remained out of the lineup with each missing multiple games.
The Canadiens trailed and chased for two periods before tying it up 3-3 late in the second period.
Suzuki produced the game-winner with a power-play goal at 15:10 of the third. He scored his 12th of the season with a rising wrist shot.
Armia's power-play goal at 18:14 of the second period drew the visitors even. He got his stick on the puck in the slot to beat Hellebuyck between the pads.
The Jets caught on a line change gave Montreal all kinds of time for Lehkonen to finish a passing play at 13:44.
Winnipeg's Lewis scored his second of the night at 11:47 on an odd-man rush with Jensen Harkins. Lewis went end-to-end with the puck after Montreal's Erik Gustaffson overskated it.
Suzuki scored his first at 4:58 to cut Winnipeg's lead to 2-1. A loose puck squirted out to Suzuki in the slot and he beat Helleybuyck with a low shot glove side.
Winnipeg led 2-0 at 2:20, when Harkins threaded the puck through red jerseys for Lewis to score on Allen far side.
Stastny gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 18:25 of the first period. Dylan DeMelo at the neutral-zone boards head-manned the puck to Stastny slashing through the middle for the latter to score with a wrist shot.
Montreal plays the second of back-to-back games Saturday against the visiting Ottawa Senators. The Jets face the Sens in Ottawa on Monday.
Notes: Jets forward Adam Lowry (upper body) missed a fourth straight game Friday, but Maurice said he might be able to return to full practice Sunday . . . Winnipeg forward Nikolaj Ehlers is out for the rest of the regular season with an upper-body injury . . . Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry extended his assist streak to three assists in three games.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 30, 2021.