NHL Scores: Canadiens hand Jets sixth straight loss, Phillip Grubauer returns with shutout, and more

Apr 30, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;Montreal Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen (62) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck (37) during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets are slumping at the worst possible time of the season. As games are winding down and many teams are clinching playoff berths, Winnipeg is trying to figure it out as they’ve fallen in the standings. From competing with the Maple Leafs for first, the Jets seem to now be trying to hold third place in the North Division.

Canadiens rally to hand Jets another loss

Things were looking good for the Jets as they built a 3-1 lead just past the midway point in the second period. Then the wheels fell off the bus to victory and the Canadiens scored four unanswered goals to take this one 5-3. Montreal increases their lead over Calgary to six points, but they also narrowed Winnipeg’s lead on third to just four.

“It’s a good thing we’re going through it now and not in a couple weeks, so I just think we learn from it,” Trevor Lewis said on the Jets slump. “It doesn’t come easy sometimes, so you’ve just got to find a way through it. I think everyone’s got to simplify things and get back to the grind and what got us here, and I think we’ll be better for it.”

The Canadiens are getting decent goaltending from offseason trade acquisition Jake Allen. He made 19 stops and has picked up three wins in the last five games as Carey Price nurses a concussion. The story for Montreal this season has been UFA signing Tyler Toffoli who notched his 26th goal of the season and added an assist. Toffoli signed a 4 year deal with an AAV of just $4.25 this summer, highlighting how the Canucks dropped the ball with him.

Avalanche get back Grubauer and shutout Sharks

colorado avalanche playoffs
Apr 30, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) celebrates with center Nathan MacKinnon (29) and right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) after the game against the San Jose Sharks at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche are becoming whole again after having to deal with COVID fallout that hit the team a few weeks ago. Their number one goalie Phillip Grubauer returned and picked up a 21 save shutout of the Sharks by a 3-0 margin. Colorado’s big guns did the damage offensively with Mikko Rantanen registering two goals and a helper in the cause. Rantanen along with Joonas Donskoi, who had an assist, also came off the COVID list with Grubauer to help in this win.

“Obviously, the first period I was a little rusty,” said Grubauer, who had not played since April 12, when he made 35 saves in a 4-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes. “Practices are limited too, so it was tough for me in the first, it got better in the second, and the third I felt back to 100 percent normal.”

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Meanwhile, the Coyotes put an end to the Golden Knights winning streak which stops at 10. Arizona picked up a 3-0 shutout by Adin Hill who made 25 saves in the process. Vegas still maintains a lead over Colorado for first place, but it is now just four points. As for the Yotes, they stay in the playoff mix and are now just three points behind the Blues.

Finally, the Kings edged out the Ducks by a 2-1 score. Lias Andersson scored just his third of the season after hoping a change of scenery out of New York would do him some good.