Wed, 02 Dec 2020

Canucks hope Toffoli can fix woes vs. Canadiens

Field Level Media
25 Feb 2020, 09:55 GMT+10

Tyler Toffoli has made quite the early impression with the Vancouver Canucks.

The veteran winger looks to continue a strong start with his new team when the Canucks aim to avoid a fourth straight road defeat and halt their current series struggles against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.In one of the bigger pre-trade deadline moves, Vancouver acquired the talented Toffoli last week from Los Angeles. He recorded an assist during a 4-3 shootout home loss to Minnesota in his Canucks debut last Wednesday, then broke out for two goals with an assist in Saturday's 9-3 rout of Boston.

"Obviously, scoring a goal this early makes it a little easier, but at the same time, you've just got to keep working," Toffoli, who secured his fourth season of at least 20 goals, told NHL.com.

"It sounds cliche, but keep trying to build these guys, not just my linemates, but everybody. Lots of talk and lots of work, and, we're going to have some fun."

Third in the ridiculously tight Pacific Division, Vancouver has scored 22 goals amid a 3-1-1 stretch, but that all came at home. The Canucks managed five goals during their current 0-2-1 rut on the road, where they'll play the next four.

It hasn't mattered where the Canucks have faced Montreal, as it's been rough anywhere. Vancouver is 0-6-2 against the Canadiens since a 5-1 home victory on Oct. 27, 2015. The Canucks' last victory at Montreal came on Dec. 8, 2011, and they needed a shootout to get it done.

Tomas Tatar and Shea Weber, who both remained in Montreal through the trade deadline, each scored third-period, power-play goals in a 3-1 win at Vancouver on Dec. 17, as Carey Price had 38 saves.

The Canadiens, a serious long shot to make the playoffs, did not have veteran Ilya Kovalchuk in that contest, and won't Tuesday.

Montreal traded Kovalchuk, who had 13 points in 22 games with the club this season, to Washington on Sunday for a 2020 third-round pick. The Canadiens also sent veteran forward Nate Thompson to Philadelphia and Nick Cousins to Vegas on Monday. Without Kovalchuk, Thompson and Cousins, the Canadiens will try to match a season high with their third consecutive win.

Price stopped 30 shots to record his 48th career shutout with a 3-0 win at Ottawa on Saturday. It was a strong effort after Price gave up at least three goals in each of his previous six starts.

He's posted a stellar 1.57 goals-against average and two shutouts during a seven-game winning streak versus Vancouver. At home against the Canucks in his career, Price is 6-0-1 with a 1.13 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage.

Tatar has a team-leading 21 goals for Montreal, and five in his last six games versus Vancouver.

The Canucks' Jacob Markstrom, who made 34 saves versus Boston, has allowed eight goals in his last two road games. He owns a 3.45 goals-against average during an 0-4-1 stretch against the Canadiens.

Markstrom reportedly will be out 3-4 weeks with a knee issue. In related news, the Canucks acquired goaltender Louis Domingue (3-8-2, 3.79 GAA) from New Jersey.

Backup Thatcher Demko is 3-5-1 with a 3.29 GAA as a road starter this season.

Vancouver's J.T. Miller has three goals and five assists over the last five games. However, he's failed to score in his last three against the Canadiens while with Tampa Bay and the Canucks.

--Field Level Media

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