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Jets spoil Dominique Ducharme’s debut as Montreal’s coach

Kyle Connor scored twice and the Winnipeg Jets spoiled Dominique Ducharme's debut as Montreal's coach, beating the Canadiens 6-3 on Thursday night to open a two-game series.

Nate Thompson scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists, and Pierre-Luc Dubois and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist. Connor Hellebuyck made 18 saves.

The Jets have won three in a row to improve to 12-6-1.

Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor (81) celebrates after scoring against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) during second-period NHL hockey game action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (John WoodsThe Canadian Press via AP)

Joel Armia scored twice for the Canadiens, and Tomas Tatar added a goal.

Montreal fired coach Claude Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller on Wednesday, promoting Ducharme to interim head coach. The Canadiens have lost four straight to fall to 9-6-4.

The teams will meet again Saturday night.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) saves a shot as Winnipeg Jets' Mark Scheifele (55) looks on during second-period NHL hockey game action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (John WoodsThe Canadian Press via AP)

Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor (81) scores against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, center bottom, during second-period NHL hockey game action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (John WoodsThe Canadian Press via AP)

Winnipeg Jets' Sami Niku (8), Kyle Connor (81), Nikolaj Ehlers (27) and Paul Stastny (25) celebrate Connors' goal against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during second-period NHL hockey game action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (John WoodsThe Canadian Press via AP)