Montreal Canadiens’ Tyler Toffoli celebrates his game-winning goal with teammate Carey Price following overtime NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action against the Winnipeg Jets, in Montreal, Monday, June 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Montreal Canadiens’ Tyler Toffoli celebrates his game-winning goal with teammate Carey Price following overtime NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action against the Winnipeg Jets, in Montreal, Monday, June 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Kings of the North: Habs sweep aside Jets with 3-2 OT triumph

Montreal will meet winner of Vegas-Colorado series in NHL semifinals

Tyler Toffoli scored at 1:39 of overtime as the host Montreal Canadiens defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Monday to complete a surprising four-game sweep in their second-round playoff series.

Toffoli took a cross-crease pass from rookie Cole Caufield and buried his fourth of the post-season on Connor Hellebuyck with a one-timer for the winner.

Erik Gustafsson and Artturi Lehkonen had the goals in regulation for Montreal, which has won seven straight post-season games after coming back from a 3-1 deficit to stun the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round. Toffoli, who scored 28 times in the regular season, also had an assist.

Carey Price made 14 saves for the North Division’s underdog No. 4 seed in front of another boisterous crowd of 2,500 fans at the Bell Centre.

The 16th and final team to qualify for the playoffs after winning just one of their final nine regular-season games in regulation, the Canadiens are the first club to make the semifinals of the Stanley Cup tournament in 2021.

Montreal now awaits the winner between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights, who are tied 2-2 with Game 5 set for Tuesday in Denver.

The Canadiens improved to 34-0 all-time when leading a series 3-0, and added to their NHL record with the franchise’s 23rd sweep.

Winnipeg — which registered a sweep of its own in the first round against Connor McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers, but was minus No. 1 centre Mark Scheifele after he was suspended four games for charging on Montreal forward Jake Evans in the series opener — got two goals from rookie defenceman Logan Stanley.

Hellebuyck stopped 39 shots.

The Canadiens were without top-4 defenceman Jeff Petry (upper-body injury) after he appeared to jam his right hand caught in one of the camera holes along the glass in Game 3. The veteran blue-liner’s absence paved the way for rookie Alexander Romanov to make his NHL playoff debut on Montreal’s third pair.

Montreal’s seven-game playoff winning streak is the franchise’s longest since Patrick Roy backstopped the Canadiens to 11 consecutive victories on the way to capturing Canada’s last Cup in 1993.

The Jets, meanwhile, are now 1-6 when facing elimination since returning to the Manitoba capital in 2011.

Winnipeg, which owned a record of 6-3-0 and averaged better than three goals a game against the Montreal in the regular season, found the back of the net just three times on Price after a 5-3 loss in Game 1.

READ MORE: Montreal Canadiens a win away from NHL semifinals after 5-1 victory over Winnipeg

Montreal opened the scoring on the power play at 8:01 of the first period on Gustafsson’s first-career playoff goal, and first with Montreal since being acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers prior to the trade deadline.

After Jets forward Nate Thompson inexcusably failed to get the puck out of his own zone, the Canadiens worked it back to Gustafsson, who pump-faked a one-timer before changing the angle and firing through a screen on Hellebuyck.

Winnipeg had a couple of good looks on its first man advantage, but Price, who registered a shutout in Game 2 and allowed one against in Wednesday’s 5-1 victory in Game 3, was there at every turn.

Montreal then made it 2-0 with 51 seconds left in the period when Lehkonen won a battle for positioning in front — something Winnipeg was unable to do at either end of the ice throughout the series — and tipped Brett Kulak’s point shot for his second goal in as many games.

With their season on the line, the Jets got life from an unlikely source in the second period. Stanley, a bruising six-foot-seven rookie defenceman, took a pass and moved down to the left circle before wiring a shot upstairs on Price’s shortside just 1:40 into the second.

The 23-year-old was at it again — Stanley had one NHL goal before Monday — at 5:29 moments after Hellebuyck made a nice save on Brendan Gallagher when he took a pass from Kyle Connor after coming off the bench and beat Price upstairs on one-timer from well out the netminder should have had to tie it 2-2.

Hellebuyck made a number of stops in the third as Montreal held a 13-1 shots edge on Winnipeg at one point before Price denied Paul Stastny on the doorstep at the other end.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

hockeyMontrealNHL

Just Posted

The City of Vernon is asking the Vernon Elks to come back with more information regarding their request for a financial or in-kind donation. (Google Maps)
Zero funding for Vernon Elks club

Once-in-100-years grant denied after back and forth with city for support

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Vernon’s historic Towne Cinema, opened at its current 30th Avenue location as a dance hall in 1929 and was converted to a movie theatre in 1938. (GoFundMe photo)
Let the show go on: $100,000 raised for Vernon Towne Cinema

The Okanagan Screen Arts Society plans on reopening of the historic cinema after Labour Day

(City of Vernon)
Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
No words to express collective grief: Vernon mayor on 215 buried at residential school

Vernon mayor pens letter to Okanagan Indian Band Chief and council

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read