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Jets 3, Sabres 0

The SportsXchange

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Winnipeg Jets gave their fans an extra reason to pop the champagne Tuesday night.

The chronically up-and-down squad defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 to post their third consecutive win and send a sold-out crowd of 15,003 home happy on New Year's Eve.

It is the Jets second-best streak of the campaign after winning four consecutive games in November.

Jets goaltender Al Montoya stopped 26 shots in posting his second shutout of the season.

The Jets opened the scoring at 10:42 of the first period when Keaton Ellerby's snap shot from the point squeezed by Sabres netminder Jhonas Enroth. Jets captain Andrew Ladd assisted on the defenseman's second goal of the season.

The Sabres thought they tied it at 15:39, but right winger Drew Stafford knocked the net off its moorings seconds before defenseman Jamie McBain knocked the puck past Montoya.

Jets rookie defenseman Jacob Trouba made it 2-0 with his third goal of the season when he one-timed a saucer pass from right winger Chris Thorburn at 14:06 of the second period. Thorburn was playing in his 500th NHL game.

Jets enforcer Anthony Peluso salted the game away with his second goal of the season with 88 seconds left in the game with an empty-net marker. He took a pass from left winger Evander Kane on a 2-on-0 break.

The Jets could have padded the lead even more had defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and right winger Michael Frolik buried their chances on clear-cut breakaways in the fiorst and third periods, respectively.

The win put the Jets above .500 for the first time in weeks, moving them to 19-18-5. The Sabres, meanwhile, fell to 11-25-4.

The Sabres outshot the Jets 27-26.

NOTES: Jets backup G Al Montoya started his second consecutive game after relieving G Ondrej Pavelec against Minnesota on Dec. 27. ... Montoya was opposed by Sabres back-up G Jhonas Enroth, who stepped in after G Ryan Miller faced 50 shots against the Washington Capitals on Sunday. ... It is widely expected Miller will be named to the U.S. Olympic team Wednesday. He could be joined by several Jets, including D Dustin Byfuglien, D Jacob Trouba and D Zach Bogosian and RW Blake Wheeler. ... The Jets played 23 one-goal games this season, second in the NHL and trailing only Calgary (25) and New Jersey (24). ... Ted Nolan is the second Sabres head coach to have two separate stints behind the team's bench. Scotty Bowman is the other.
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