MONTREAL — The Canadiens are just one loss away from seeing their 2021 campaign end.
Alex Galchenyuk had a goal and two assists, Jack Campbell stopped 32 shots and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated Montreal 4-0 in Game 4 of their first round series at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.
The Maple Leafs lead the series 3-1. They will have their first chance to close the books on Thursday in Toronto.
The Habs’ offence was stuck in neutral on Tuesday. It has generated only four goals so far in the series, three at even strength and one shorthanded.
At the other end of the ice, Carey Price continued to do a good job. He made 24 saves.
Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist, while William Nylander and Joe Thornton also scored for the Maple Leafs, who are hoping to win their first series since 2004. Alexander Kerfoot had three assists.
The Leafs’ depth once again had the advantage over the Habs.
The Habs defensemen have yet to pick up a point in the series.
Eric Staal was back in the Canadiens lineup after skipping his turn the day before. He replaced Artturi Lehkonen, who was injured in Monday’s 2-1 loss to Montreal.
In the Maple Leafs camp, forward Adam Brooks replaced Riley Nash, while Travis Dermott patrolled the blue line in place of Rasmus Sandin.
AN OFFENCE SHORT ON SOLUTIONS
The Habs played with fire early in the game. Spezza broke free, then Mitchell Marner found himself in a two-on-one situation with Auston Matthews early on. Each time, Price shut the door.
The Habs got two power plays late in the game, but only had one of their shots hit Campbell.
The Maple Leafs opened the scoring 1:27 into the second period. Nylander completed a nice play initiated by Kerfoot and Galchenyuk.
Staal had a great opportunity to respond quickly, but Campbell frustrated him as he went in alone.
The Maple Leafs doubled their lead at 12:28. Spezza took a perfect pass from Galchenyuk to make the ropes move after a two-on-one attack.
Thornton then scored on the power play 2:28 later. He completed another nice passing play from Kerfoot and Spezza.
The Habs tried to get back on track before the end of the second period. Joel Edmundson had a good shot, but Campbell easily made the save.
Brendan Gallagher was able to beat Campbell with 90 seconds left on the power play, but his shot hit the post.
The Habs put more shots on goal in the third period, but Campbell always looked in control.
Price was replaced by an extra attacker with over five minutes remaining. That ultimately only allowed Galchenyuk to add a goal with 3:31 to go.
— This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 25, 2021.
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