Tyler Toffoli scored the game’s lone goal and goaltender Carey Price recorded his eighth career playoff shutout to give the visiting Montreal Canadiens a 1-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets and a surprising 2-0 lead in their Stanley Cup playoff series.
Price made all 30 saves needed to earn his first shutout of this year’s playoffs.
The underdog Canadiens will look to take a stranglehold on the best-of-seven, second-round series when it resumes Sunday in Montreal, with Game 4 on Monday.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 23 shots for the Jets, who were without suspended top-line center Mark Scheifele after his was handed a four-game banishment for the charging major penalty he received after hitting Jake Evans in the series opener.
Toffoli’s short-handed goal 101 seconds into the second period was the lone offensive production. After a Winnipeg chance missed the net and sprung him, Toffoli led a two-on-one rush that he ended by electing to shoot from the right circle.
The Canadiens have opened the scoring in five consecutive outings, seven of their nine playoff games and all six they’ve played on the road.
From there, it was on Price to hold the fort for the Canadiens, who have won five straight playoff games and haven’t trailed in any of them. Price did a masterful job, especially in the third period when the Jets pushed furiously for the equalizer. He turned aside Pierre-Luc Dubois early in the final frame and made his biggest late in the affair when he denied Nikolaj Ehlers from the slot.
Hellebuyck did all he could to give the hosts a chance. He made a huge stop on Jesperi Kotkaniemi early in the third period and provided a clutch save on Paul Byron late in regulation to keep his team within one shot of tying the game but received no offensive support.
With Evans out of action after the hellacious hit from Scheifele that required him to be carted off via stretcher, the Canadiens inserted Artturi Lehkonen in the lineup. Lehkonen collected an assist on Toffoli’s goal.
On top of being without Scheifele, Winnipeg forward Paul Stastny and defenseman Dylan DeMelo also missed the game due to injury. In their place were forwards Jansen Harkins and Kristian Vesalainen and defenseman Jordie Benn.
–Field Level Media