Posted at: 12/31/2013 10:08 PM
By: Associated Press
Al Montoya made 27 saves and led the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Keaton Ellerby, Jacob Trouba and Anthony Peluso provided all the offense necessary for Montoya, who earned his second shutout of the season. Winnipeg tied a season best with its third straight win.
Montoya (8-2-1), making his second straight start after relieving No. 1 goalie Ondrej Pavelec in the first period of a game last week against Minnesota, has won six consecutive decisions.
Sabres backup Jhonas Enroth got his 12th start of the season and handed the Jets (19-18-5) the lead when a weak point shot from Ellerby got past his blocker in the first period.
The Sabres (11-25-4) thought they had tied it when Marcus Foligno banged the puck past Montoya, but the net was dislodged before the puck went in.
Trouba, a rookie defenceman, one-timed Chris Thorburn's pass and beat Enroth at 13:06 of the second period for his third goal of the season.
Peluso added an empty-net goal with 1:28 remaining.
Enroth finished with 23 saves.
Buffalo failed to score on four power plays, and the Jets were blanked the three times they had the man advantage.
While Montoya's $601,000 salary is $3.3 million less than Pavelec's, his play could soon force Jets coach Claude Noel to re-evaluate the way he splits his goalies' workloads.
Pavelec is 11-16-4, with a .902 save percentage. Montoya increased his save percentage to .934.
The Sabres, owners of the NHL's worst record, had earned points in seven of their previous nine games, including a win against the Jets.