Canucks top Canadiens with overtime goal from Toffoli
Vancouver Canucks' Tyler Toffoli scores past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during overtime in NHL hockey action in Montreal, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
MONTREAL -- Tyler Toffoli hasn't stopped scoring since joining his new teammates in Vancouver.
Toffoli scored 1:35 into overtime to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.
The forward has three goals and five points in his first three games since the Canucks acquired him from the Los Angeles Kings over a week ago. Toffoli also has seven goals in his last five games, including his final two games in Los Angeles.
“It's been incredible,” Toffoli said. “The guys have been great. Getting points in all three games has made it a lot more fun.”
The goal came after the Canucks spent much of the overtime period in the Canadiens zone. Toffoli and Bo Horvat completed a passing play, resulting in Toffoli's 21st goal of the season.
“We knew they were tired,” Toffoli said. “Just making those little plays moving around and trying to get them to chase us when they're that tired.”
Horvat, Alexander Edler, and Jake Virtanen also scored for Vancouver (33-22-6).
Paul Byron, Shea Weber, and Jordan Weal scored for Montreal (29-27-8).
Thatcher Demko made 37 saves for his 11th victory of the season. Carey Price made 29 saves in the loss.
“I want the guys to have confidence in me,” Demko said.
Demko, along with newcomer Louis Domingue, will be relied on in goal for the Canucks after they lost goaltender Jacob Markstrom to a knee injury last Saturday against Boston.
“We don't look at it like it should change the way we play,” Canucks forward J.T. Miller said. “We know what makes our team good. We try to stay focused and not be distracted. Obviously, we'd like to have (Markstrom) in net. But we know we have a ton of confidence in whoever's back there. And even picking up (Domingue), we're going to have confidence if he gets a game.”
The Canucks didn't have the easiest start Tuesday night.
Montreal jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals 90 seconds apart early in the first period. Byron scored first, his third of the season, after Max Domi sped up the wing into the Canucks zone and sent the puck through the crease and onto Byron's stick.
Weber added to the lead with his 15th of the season. The Canucks called a timeout after allowing two goals on six shots, giving head coach Travis Green a chance to push a strongly worded message to his team.
“Some swear words mixed in there,” Green said. “We had to get a little better with the puck, a little stronger on the puck. A little more direct in our game. We dug ourselves in a hole early. It was nice to get two points tonight.”
Vancouver scored with 4:03 left in the first period on a power-play goal from Horvat. The Vancouver captain has scored at least 20 or more goals in his last four seasons.
Edler tied the game at two in the second period with a shot from the blue line.
Weal gave Montreal the lead once more with his seventh goal of the season 50 seconds into the third period. Domi picked up his second assist.
Virtanen tied the game at 5:53 of the third.
The Canucks continue their Eastern Canadian road trip Thursday night with a trip to Ottawa to face the Senators. Montreal hosts the New York Rangers Thursday night at Bell Centre.
NOTES: The Canadiens celebrated LGBTQ+ night at Bell Centre by wearing rainbow-coloured jerseys and stick tape during pre-game warmup.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 25, 2020.