MONTREAL - Heading into Game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens, the Winnipeg Jets had won their last four overtime decisions in the Stanley Cup Playoffs dating back to 2019.
They couldn't make it five, and it cost them their season on Monday night.
Tyler Toffoli broke a 2-2 tie 1:39 into overtime to give the Canadiens a 3-2 victory, eliminating the Jets from playoff contention.
"I think you saw a team that had spent what it had to spend and was hanging on in this game tonight," said head coach Paul Mauice. "It wasn't from a lack of character or a lack of will, but we were behind it and that was obvious in the game."
Logan Stanley scored both goals for the Jets in the game - the first two goals of his postseason career - but even after accomplishing such a career milestone, the 6'7" defenceman didn't feel anything but disappointment after Game 4.
"I think it's all bitter right now," said Stanley. "In the playoffs, it doesn't matter who scores. You win as a team and you lose as a team. I'm glad I got a couple by him to try and help the team, but at the end of the day we lost to the team, so it stings right now."
Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler
Montreal never trailed in the game, or the series. In fact, they haven't trailed in 437:33 - the second longest span in NHL postseason history behind only the 1960 version of the Canadiens.
"They're playing at a really high level right now. You just have to give them all the credit," said Blake Wheeler. "We just couldn't get the first goal. We just couldn't do it all series. That plays right into their hands."
An early high-sticking call on Andrew Copp out the Canadiens on the power play, and after Nate Thompson couldn't clear the puck, the Canadiens capitalized. Erik Gustafsson's shot from the point beat a screened Connor Hellebuyck, putting the Canadiens up 1-0 just 8:01 into the first period.
Montreal extended the lead in the final minute of the first period, as Artturi Lehkonen deflected a Brett Kulak shot from the left point to make it 2-0.
"They were as good as I've seen them be in the game that they play," said Maurice. "It was the tough match, which I still think we had a chance to win but I think it would have been difficult."
The Jets gave themselves a chance by answering back early in the second period. Just 1:40 in the middle frame, Stanley took a pass at the left point from Jordie Benn, then wired a wrist shot short side high on Carey Price.
Stanley's first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal looked a lot like his first NHL goal back on March 27 in Calgary against the Flames. A wrist shot, bar down.
He wouldn't have to wait long for his second postseason goal either.
Video: POSTGAME | Adam Lowry
Just 3:49 later, Stanley hopped on the ice during a line change to join the rush, then hammered a one-timer from the right circle past the glove of Price to tie the game at two.
Stanley had his first professional two-goal game, and it couldn't have come at a better time for the Jets.
"The playoff games that he played will be so important with his development because he is physically there and now he has an understanding of the next level," said Maurice. "This was a really good draft pick for us that took the appropriate amount of time to develop."
It stayed that way until overtime, when Cole Caufield picked up a loose puck deep in the Jets zone and hit Toffoli with a cross-ice pass on the back door side, one that Toffoli quickly snapped on goal.
It didn't miss.
Video: POSTGAME | Logan Stanley
Hellebuyck made 39 saves in the game on the 42 shots he faced, and finished the postseason with a 0.931 save percentage.
"He's incredible. What he does for our team, he's incredible, he's an awesome guy," said Adam Lowry. "He battles so hard for us and he won the Vezina last year for a reason. I think he probably should have been up for it again this year. He's that important to our team."
It was a tough end to the season that saw the highest of highs - the sweep over the Edmonton Oilers - and now, the lowest of lows, the elimination by the Canadiens.
"It was extreme, right, which was the case of the year, the story of the year, just extreme," said Maurice. "You roll through four games against a team with the two best players in the league, and you like the defensive game and then you get beat four straight times. They were good and they were better than we were in this series and they deserved to win."