WINNIPEG – Carey Price stopped 30 shots for the eighth shutout of her career playoffs, and the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Winnipeg Jets 1-0 on Friday for a 2-0 lead in their second-round playoff series of the Stanley Cup.
Tyler Toffoli’s goal in the absence of hands of 1:41 in the second period remained the winner of the game.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 23 shots for the Jets.
Game 3 is Sunday in Montreal, followed by Game 4 the following night. Teams taking a 2-0 road lead are 82-20 (80.4 percent) to win a best-of-seven playoff series, including 2-0 this season (Winnipeg and Tampa Bay).
The Jets were left without leading scorer and No. 1 center Mark Scheifele, who was starting a four-game suspension for charging at Canadiens forward Jake Evans in the final minute of Wednesday’s 5-3 win in Montreal.
Scheifele sent Evans flying over the ice after he scored on an empty net. Evans hit his head and was pulled off the ice on a stretcher, but was evaluated and did not go to the hospital. He left indefinitely with a concussion and was replaced by Artturi Lehkonen.
Pierre-Luc Dubois centered Winnipeg’s top line with Kyle Connor on the left and Captain Blake Wheeler on the other side.
Jets center Paul Stastny missed his second game of the series with an undisclosed injury. Defender Jordie Benn was named for Dylan DeMelo, who according to coach Paul Maurice suffered a soft tissue injury in Wednesday’s game.
Winnipeg outshot the visitors 8-7 in the first period, which revealed no remnants of anger or big shots from Wednesday’s tilt.
The first penalty of the game led to Toffoli’s short-handed score at 1:41 after Canadiens forward Paul Byron was called with a high stick at 22 seconds of the second period.
Emotions seemed to rise a bit later in the second, as the players rushing to Hellebuyck’s side began to shove and shove each other. The Canadiens led 17-16 in shots on target after the midfield.
The jets picked up the pace early in the third, but two shots they sent toward Price hit their own players first. Winnipeg then had a power play, but Price stopped Josh Morrissey’s blast from the spot.
Hellebuyck was called off by the extra attacker with 2:04 remaining, but Montreal’s defense tensed and helped Price. Toffoli also hit the empty net post and Price denied Connor.
Winnipeg again hosted 500 fully vaccinated healthcare workers for the game at Bell MTS Place.
When the Canadiens return home, they will also have fans in the stands. The club was the first NHL team in Canada to have a crowd this year, allowing 2,500 fans to attend Game 6 against the Toronto Maple Leafs after Quebec eased restrictions.
The Leafs continued to cover the cost of 550 fully vaccinated healthcare workers to attend Game 7 against the Canadiens after Ontario gave the green light, then Manitoba gave the green light for the series opener on Wednesday.
This Canadian Press report was first published on June 4, 2021.
22:24 ET 06-04-21