Canadiens defeat Maple Leafs in OT in Game 5, extend first-round series
Nick Suzuki scored 59 seconds into overtime, and the Montreal Canadiens recovered for a 4-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.
Suzuki won it with a one-timer on a 2-on-0 with Cole Caufield after a turnover by forward Alex Galchenyuk at the opposite blue line to extend the best-of-7 series.
“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.”
Joel Armia scored twice, and Carey Price made 32 saves for the Canadiens, the No. 4 seed in the Scotia North Division.
“[We showed] resiliency, something that is not easy to have the right mentality going into an overtime like that after giving up a two-goal lead in the third,” Price said. “But I thought our group was calm and composed in the locker room after [the third period]. We came here to win this game, and I thought overall our game was pretty solid. We got rewarded tonight.”
Jake Muzzin scored twice in 5:02 in the third period, and Jack Campbell made 26 saves for the Maple Leafs, the No. 1 seed in the North. They lead the series and are trying to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2004.
“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.”
Game 6 will be played at Montreal on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS). The Canadiens are expecting to have about 2,500 fans in attendance, which would be the first NHL game in Canada with fans since March 11, 2020.
“I think to be honest, the fans will deserve that game big time,” Montreal forward Phillip Danault said. “It’s going to be crazy there, it’s going to be awesome and I can’t wait to be in front of our fans.
“We’ve been waiting for that all year and here we are, Game 6 against Toronto Saturday night at home. It can’t get any better than that.”
The Maple Leafs trailed 3-0 but started to rally at 6:32 of the second period when Zach Hyman scored from the slot after Mitchell Marner played it in front from the side of the net with Price out of position to make it 3-1.
Muzzin cut it to 3-2 with a shot from the point at 6:52 of the third, then tied it at 11:54 when he deflected a shot from Galchenyuk in the slot to make it 3-3.
Toronto outshot Montreal 16-6 in the third period.
“I think everybody knew what the overall message should have been (after the third),” Price said. “I don’t think anybody needed to say anything. Our coach came in and gave us a few words, but you look around the room and everybody knew what was at stake.”
Armia scored twice in 3:05 in the first period. He gave Montreal a 1-0 lead at 5:13 after Corey Perry’s hit on Rasmus Sandin created a turnover in the offensive zone, then made it 2-0 at 8:18 when he jammed a loose puck in the slot.
“They were desperate and they won every battle and we weren’t ready for it,” Muzzin said. “We battled back, but not enough.”
Jesperi Kotkaniemi made it 3-0 at 4:52 of the second period when he stole the puck from Sandin behind the net, skated into the slot and shot past Campbell.
“Well it wasn’t his best, obviously,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said of Campbell. “He was playing at a really high level for us and today, like our team, [he] wasn’t his best. But he’s earned the opportunity and the trust that he will bounce back for us.”
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 27, 2021