Jets' Al Montoya making most of chance to start

Jets goaltender Al Montoya (centre) celebrates a shutout in his first start of the season against...

Jets goaltender Al Montoya (centre) celebrates a shutout in his first start of the season against the Devils with Bryan Little (left) and Mark Stuart in Winnipeg on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. (Kevin King/QMI Agency/Files)

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:12 AM ET

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets "other" masked man is having a hard time masking his enthusiasm these days.

It's been a while since Al Montoya started any four consecutive NHL games, let alone four with the win-or-go-home feel of playoff contests.

"This is why you strap on the pads, why you become a goalie -- to be able to make a difference," Montoya was saying, Friday. "The last game was our biggest, and now (Saturday) is our biggest game of the year.

"This is awesome ... this is what you circle on the calendar."

Montoya, of course, is playing because of an injury to Ondrej Pavelec, who's expected to be available sometime during next week's road trip.

Until then, including Saturday against Carolina, the stage belongs to the man who's a bit like the actor who gets pigeon-holed into certain supporting roles.

Deep, down inside, the guy yearns for a shot at the lead.


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