Winnipeg Jets swept by Habs as season comes to an end

Exactly two weeks after sweeping the Edmonton Oilers, the Winnipeg Jets were on the other end of a series sweep.

Tyler Toffoli scored the game-winner 1:30 into overtime as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Jets 3-2 to win the series 4-0.

Erik Gustafsson and Artturi Lehkonen had the other goals for Montreal, as they busted out to a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Logan Stanley scored both goals for the Jets in the second period to eventually send the game to overtime.

Montreal would open the scoring on the powerplay after Andrew Copp took a penalty for high-sticking. Nate Thompson turned the puck over at the Winnipeg blue line, and Gustafsson’s slap shot hit the post and beat a screened Connor Hellebuyck,

The Canadiens scored the first goal in every game of the series.

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The Jets would immediately get a chance to answer but were unable to punish a penalty to Montreal’s Brett Kulak. Winnipeg struggled to establish time in the offensive zone, with numerous dump-ins quickly transitioned by the Canadiens.

Montreal would add to their lead just before intermission. A gorgeous tip by  Lehkonen off a shot by Kulak beat Hellebuyck with 51 seconds left in the frame. The Canadiens outshot the Jets 12-7 in the first period.

Stanley would give the Jets life in the second period. The towering rookie defenceman beat Carey Price on the blocker side with a perfectly placed wrist shot into the top corner for his first career playoff goal.

The first-year defenceman wasn’t done there. After a save by Hellebuyck on Brendan Gallagher, the Jets took the puck the other way and Kyle Connor found Stanley for a one-timer opportunity, and he slapped the puck past Price for his second of the night.

Montreal continued to dominate Winnipeg in the shot column through 40 minutes, outshooting the Jets 13-4 in the second period.

That trend continued into the third. Montreal was up 37-12 in the shot column by the halfway mark of the period. Hellebuyck kept the Jets in the game with several key saves. Despite a shot margin of 39-16 through regulation, the score remained tied,

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Toffoli would clinch the series for Montreal after a cross-crease pass by Cole Caufield found the veteran forward wide open, and he blasted the puck past a sprawling Hellebuyck.

Toffoli (2 goals, 3 assists) had a point in every game of the series and is now on a 6-game point streak in the playoffs.

The loss caps off a series where the Jets struggled to create offence. Winnipeg scored just six goals in the four-game series and was shut out in Game 2. Kyle Connor was the lone player on the Jets’ top two lines to score in the series. The other goals came from Stanley (2), Adam Lowry (2), and Derek Forbort.

Star centre Mark Scheifele finished the playoffs serving a suspension for his Game 1 hit on Canadiens forward Jake Evans and will miss the opening game of next year’s regular season.

With the victory, the Canadiens advance out of the all-Canadian North Division and will be the first team from the country to face American opposition in 2021. They will face the winner of the series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche, which is tied 2-2.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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