MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens are just one win away from reaching the quarterfinal in the Stanley Cup playoffs after defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-1 at the Bell Center on Sunday.
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The Canadians can afford the pass starting Monday (8 p.m. ET; TVAS, CBC, SN, NBCSN, NHLN), completing the sweep of the second-round series in front of their fans.
Joel armia led the attack with a brace, his third and fourth this spring, in addition to amassing an assist. Corey perry, Artturi Lehkonen and Nick suzuki were the contributors to the third straight victory over the Jets.
Carey Price was equal to himself in net blocking 26 shots. His vis-à-vis Connor Hellebuyck repelled 28 shots.
The only gray cloud in the sunny skies of the Canadiens, who stuck to a sixth straight playoff win for the first time since 1993, was the loss of the defenseman. Jeff petry, due to an injury to the upper body. Petry appeared to hurt his right hand in the second period, which he completed. He wasn’t back for the start of the last twenty.
« We will know more on Monday morning because he has to undergo other exams, » said interim coach Dominique Ducharme. We will then see the necessary decision. «
Canadians have more than the Jets in the wire. Sunday again, they exercised total control of the action and it is not seen how the Jets could turn the tide.
« We must continue to believe in it », commented the captain. Blake wheeler. “We can’t reinvent the wheel at this point in the series. We cannot start from scratch. There are things we can fix in our game, but just hope the puck leaps in our favor. »
In the camp of the Habs, we will want to end it so as not to give back the slightest ounce of hope to the opponent.
“We know what it’s like to have your back against the wall,” said Suzuki, referring to the 1-3 setback he and his troops faced in the series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. “We know the Jets are going to play with the energy of desperation. We will have to continue to play as we do. «
“Both teams must win on Monday,” simply summed up coach Paul Maurice. “We have to fight to extend the series and the Canadiens will want to finish it. Since the end of the match, our eyes have been fixed on the fourth duel and we will prepare accordingly. »
In any case, the Canadians did not fall into the trap of overconfidence on Sunday.
The “centennial trio” saw everyone fall in line from the start, even allowing the team to open the scoring in a sixth straight game.
Helped by Eric Staal and Armia, Perry ended a long streak in enemy territory at 4:45 of the initial third. He shot after rounding around the goal and the puck appeared to branch off on Blake Wheeler’s stick in front of Hellebuyck.
Video: The Habs take a 3-0 lead against the Jets
The Jets could hardly get close to Price, as they said they wanted to. The goalkeeper was able to see all the shots, including the more heavy shots from the Andrew Copp and Wheeler.
« The presence of supporters in the stands helps us a lot, » said the striker. Brendan Gallagher. They may only be 2,500, but they are very loud. We wanted to use the advantage of the rink to our advantage. «
The Jets got off to a good start in the second period and moved on to that of creating a tie. Nikolaj Ehlers and Wheeler saw their throws echo the horizontal bar behind Price.
Shortly after Wheeler’s failed luck, at 9:24, CH doubled their lead. Lehkonen drove the puck into the net after some relentless attempts from his linemates, Phillip danault and Gallagher.
Armia then scored a goal that hurt the shorthanded Jets terribly at 13:41. The Finn intercepted a pass in his zone before going down in excess with Paul Byron. He made the defender lie down on the ice Josh Morrissey before lifting the disc at the top of the goal, on the side of Hellebuyck’s mitt. It was the Habs’ third goal in the playoffs.
Unstructured over the next few minutes, the Jets nonetheless narrowed the gap before the period ended at 5:51 pm. Coming to the left flank, Lowry completed the strategy of Mathieu Perreault and of Mason appleton.
It was for them a first goal in almost 100 minutes of play (99:33). In the third period, they had no choice, they had to open the machine. What they tried to do.
The Canadians, however, curtailed their ambitions by going 4-1 on the power play at 8:52. Suzuki only had to drop the blade of his stick at the right angle, accepting the quick pass from Cole caufield from the left corner.
Armia scored her second of the game, still outnumbered, by throwing the puck from his zone into an empty net at 4:42 p.m., as the Jets went all-out while pulling out Hellebuyck in favor of a sixth skater.