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.”NHL.com
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.”NHL.com
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.
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–Field Level Media