NHL Playoff Buzzer: Canadiens take 2-0 lead, Golden Knights score twice late
• The Canadiens jumped out to a 2-0 series lead with their win over Winnipeg, behind a Carey Price shutout.
• Vegas stormed back late to take Game 3 from Colorado in dramatic fasion.
Tyler Toffoli scored the lone goal 1:41 into the second period and it held as the Canadiens took a 2-0 series lead with their 1-0 win over the Jets on Friday night in Winnipeg. Carey Price earned his eighth career playoff shutout with a 31 save performance against the Mark Schiefele-less Jets. Now, the series shifts to Montreal ice with their lead.
It seemed like Colorado had all but locked up a 3-0 series lead on Vegas before two goals within 45 seconds saved the Golden Knights season. Jonathan Marchessault and Max Pacioretty netted two goals to keep Vegas alive heading into Game 4 on home ice, only trailing 2-1 in the series. A loss almost certainly would have unofficially halted the Golden Knights season. Instead, they’ll get a chance to tie the series on home ice in Game 4.
Friday Three Stars
1. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
The way Price has fueled an unlikely Canadiens postseason run has been remarkable. As if shutting down the Maple Leafs in the final three games of that series wasn’t enough, Price through two games has made the Jets look pedestrian. That would be, whatever, given the way the Jets slumped late in the series, but this is the team that had their own First Round surprise sweeping the Oilers.
Price has been arguably the best goalie of the postseason, and that wasn’t expected. We should appreciate this run for now, though; it’s been incredible to witness.
2. Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights
Pacioretty tipped a Nick Holden shot past Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer with 4:33 left to give Vegas its first win of the Second Round. That goal came just 45 seconds after the Golden Knights had tied it.
It was just the second postseason goal for Pacioretty, who was injured and unavailable for most of the First Round series with the Minnesota Wild. His impact was felt in the most vital game of the season, though, on Friday night where his goal may have just saved the Golden Kngiths season.
3. Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche
The elite Avs scorer is elite for a reason; his go-ahead goal on the power play in the third period made it so he’s put a point on the board in his last 17 consecutive playoff games. That dates back to last season in the bubble in Toronto.
Colorado saw some nice offensive nights across the board, with Cale Makar netting an assist and Kiefer Sherwood notching his first career playoff point and Carl Soderberg finding the net. The heart and soul of the Avs is still their top line, though, and Rantanen has just dominated whenever he’s on the ice.
Highlights from Friday
* Max Pacioretty scored the game-winner for Vegas after Jonathan Marchessault tied it.
* Tyler Toffoli scored the lone goal for the Canadiens in their 1-0 win over Winnipeg.
Saturday Schedule Game 4: Hurricanes at Lightning, 4 p.m. ET (TB leads 2-1) - USA Network (livestream) Game 4: Bruins at Islanders, 7:15 p.m. ET (BOS leads 2-1) - NBC (livestream)