Montreal Canadiens force Game 7 with OT win over stunned Maple Leafs

Montreal Canadiens force Game 7! Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored with 4:45 left in overtime to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 6 of their North Division first-round Stanley Cup playoff series on Saturday.

“It’s pretty remarkable,” Kotkaniemi said. “It was a great feeling, especially with the fans in the stands.”

Montreal Canadiens force Game 7

It was the Canadiens’ second straight overtime win to stave off elimination. Game 7 is Monday in Toronto.

Free agent signing, Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist, Corey Perry scored a third-period power-play goal, and Carey Price made 41 saves for Montreal, which played in front of approximately 2,500 spectators, the first time fans were allowed to attend an NHL game in Canada in more than 14 months.

Jason Spezza and TJ Brodie scored, and Jack Campbell made 28 saves for Toronto, which is trying to advance to the second round for the first time since 2004.

Montreal led 2-0 midway through the third period, but Spezza cut it to 2-1 at 11:35 after taking a pass in front of Price, spinning and scoring his third goal of the series.

montreal canadiens force game 7
May 29, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi (15) reacts with teammates after scoring the winning goal against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell (36) during the overtime period in game six of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Maple Leafs stunned

Brodie then scored on a wrist shot from the right circle following a turnover to tie it 2-2 with 3:11 left.

Both goals deflected off Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry.

“I think it’s obviously frustrating losing the game,” Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews said. “But battling back the way we did, and obviously we had plenty of chances, it’s a game of inches out there in overtime to obviously end the game, and we couldn’t get it done. We’re going to move on, and we’ve got another game here. We’re going back home and we’ve got to be ready.”

Montreal entered the night having not scored on its past 24 power plays dating to the regular season when Perry scored with the man-advantage at 5:26 of the third period for a 1-0 lead.

Campbell came out of the crease to make a save, but he stayed down on his knees as both teams battled for the puck until it slid into the crease, and Perry swiped it into the net.

Toronto challenged for goalie interference, but the goal stood and the Canadiens went back on the power play.

The Maple Leafs then sent the puck over the glass for another delay of game penalty, giving Montreal a lengthy 5 on 3, and Toffoli scored at 6:43 for a 2-0 lead.

It was the first goal of the series for Toffoli after scoring 28 during the regular season.

–Field Level Media