Nick Suzuki wins it in OT; keeps Canadiens alive in series with Maple Leafs

Nick Suzuki extension
May 27, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki (14) scores the game winning goal past Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell (36) in overtime in game five of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Suzuki scored 59 seconds into overtime and the visiting Montreal Canadiens defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 Thursday night to stave off elimination in the first-round, best-of-seven playoff series.

The Maple Leafs lead the series 3-2 with Game 6 to be played Saturday at Montreal.

Nick Suzuki wins it in OT

Suzuki completed a give-and-go with rookie Cole Caufield after a Toronto turnover in the neutral zone gave the Canadiens a two-man breakaway.

“Sometimes those 2-on-0s are a little bit more difficult,” Suzuki said. “Some guys are hesitant to shoot, but we were just confident to make the play and I was lucky enough to score. I don’t know, I think we are both capable of scoring. I just felt like I had a good lane to the net on my one-timer side, so it was just a great play by him to touch it right back to me.”

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nick suzuki wins it in ot
TORONTO, ON – MAY 27: Nick Suzuki #14 of the Montreal Canadiens scores against Jack Campbell #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime in Game Five of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scotiabank Arena on May 27, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

Joel Armia scored twice in the first period for the Canadiens, who increased the lead to 3-0 early in the second period.

Jake Muzzin scored twice for Toronto in the third period to tie the game.

Zach Hyman also scored for the Maple Leafs. William Nylander added two assists and Jack Campbell stopped 26 shots for Toronto.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi also scored for the Canadiens, while Carey Price made 32 saves.

Armia scored at 5:13 of the first from the slot after a Maple Leafs turnover caused by Corey Perry’s hit on Rasmus Sandin.

Armia scored again at 8:18 when he slid the puck under Campbell on Montreal’s third attempt during a scramble in front of the net.

Canadiens survive blown lead

The Canadiens took a 3-0 lead at 4:52 of the second period when Kotkaniemi took advantage of Sandin’s turnover after a Montreal dump in. Kotkaniemi took the puck from the side of the net to the low slot and stuffed it past Campbell from the edge of the crease.

“It’s tough to close a team out,” Campbell said. “They came out hard. I thought we played well enough to win the game; I just can’t give up three in regulation. I have to be better, and I will be. I just have to make the save on that 2-on-0. I was a little aggressive, so I’ll learn from it.”

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Hyman nudged the puck home from a scramble in front of the Montreal net at 6:32 of the second to cut the lead to 3-1. Auston Matthews won a faceoff in the Montreal zone and Mitchell Marner shot the puck at the goal.

After the Canadiens had killed off a penalty, Muzzin threaded a point shot from the blue line through a cluster of players at 6:52 of the third.

Muzzin tied the game at 11:54 of the third. He dropped a pass to Alex Galchenyuk, who shot from the left circle. Muzzin continued driving to the goal and deflected the shot past Price.

Related: John Tavares injury update

–Field Level Media