Tyler Toffoli – Nick Suzuki – Cole Caufield
Artturi Lehkonen – Phillip Danault – Brendan Gallagher
Paul Byron – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Josh Anderson
Joel Armia – Eric Staal – Corey Perry
Ben Chiarot – Shea Weber
Joel Edmundson – Jeff Petry
Brett Kulak – Erik Gustafsson
Carey Price – Jake Allen
Tomas Tatar, Michael Frolik, Alexander Romanov, Charlie Lindgren
Alex Belzile, Laurent Dauphin, Lukas Vejdemo, Jesse Ylonen, Cale Fleury, Otto Leskinen, Xavier Ouellet, Cayden Primeau, Michael McNiven
Jonathan Drouin (undisclosed), Jon Merrill (undisclosed), Jake Evans (concussion)
This series was billed as a battle of two of the best goalies in hockey and fans were treated to an excellent display of their work tonight. Not a single goal was scored in five-on-five play tonight by either team.
Carey Price stopped all 30 shots that he faced, including eight tough saves in the final three minutes of the game. Connor Hellebuyck had a lighter workload but was solid with only a short-handed goal by Tyler Toffoli getting by the Winnipeg goaltender. With the Jets pressing in the third, Hellebuyck stood tall on a couple of odd-man chances by Montreal.
The Jets came out with energy and jump controlling play for the first ten minutes of the game. The game then slowed as the Canadiens clogged the middle of the ice with the two teams playing a tight-checking affair. Opportunities were hard to come by at both ends of the ice.
With the Jets playing catch up most of the third period was played in the Montreal zone. Price came up big to keep Winnipeg off the scoresheet. It was clear that the Jets strategy was to get bodies in front of the net taking the eyes away from Price.
Winnipeg was committed to playing a physical game outhitting Montreal by a wide margin 49-20. Jets forwards were determined to soften up the Canadiens top-four defencemen who are logging huge minutes. While interim head coach Dominique Ducharme continues to pen Erik Gustafsson and Brett Kulak in the lineup, the coaching staff sees the bottom pairing as too much of a liability to play together on a regular shift.
The Canadiens head home with a 2-0 lead in the series riding a five game winning streak. Price has been named the first star in four straight games.
Game two of the series will take place on Friday night in Winnipeg. We could see Tomas Tatar slot into the lineup for Evans. Coach Ducharme has run out of excuses for leaving Alexander Romanov in the press box. But it’s clear that Erik Gustafsson is not the answer.
▲ Carey Price, Shea Weber, Ben Chiarot, Joel Armia, Artturi Lehkonen, Tyler Toffoli Jesperi Kotkaniemi
▼ Erik Gustafsson, Brett Kulak, Phillip Danault
Check out the game preview here: Canadiens @ Jets: Answering With A Win | HABS GAME 2 PREVIEW