The Winnipeg Jets may be the hottest team in the league, but according to offensive leader Dale Hawerchuk, that's what they have to do just to stay out of fourth place in the tight Smythe Division.
Hawerchuk scored his 44th and 45th goals and set up another goal Thursday night to lead the Jets to a 4-1 victory over the Canadiens at Montreal. The victory was the seventh for the Jets in their last eight games.
"We probably have one of the best records over the last 31 games (18-10-3)," Hawerchuk said. "But there's a reason for that. We're in a dogfight for second place, and if we're not careful, we could go down to fourth. It's a good time for us to get hot. Because we can't rely on the other teams to beat Calgary and Los Angeles."
And finishing fourth in the Smythe means a first-round playoff against the defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers.
Hawerchuk scored with 26 seconds to go for the final goal after Winnipeg took a 3-1 lead after one period on goals by Brian Mullen, Tim Watters and Hawerchuk.