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

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

Stettler town hall
Town approves Canada Day fireworks show, using phase two health restrictions

The funding for the fireworks show has already been allocated

Castor Evangelical Missionary Church Pastor Brent Siemens, celebrating five years in Castor, reflects on the journey that brought him to the community. Kevin J. Sabo photo
Castor pastor celebrates five years of serving the community

Brent Siemens is the pastor of Castor’s Evangelical Missionary Church

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Most Read