Canadiens recover again, defeat Maple Leafs in OT in Game 6


MONTREAL — Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored at 15:15 of overtime, and the Montreal Canadiens avoided elimination for the second straight game with a 3-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Following a turnover by Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott, Kotkaniemi skated into the slot and scored on a shot that deflected off Zach Bogosian and past Jack Campbell‘s glove.

Toronto outshot Montreal 13-2 in overtime.

Corey Perry and Tyler Toffoli each scored a power-play goal, and Carey Price made 41 saves for Montreal, the No. 4 seed in the Scotia North Division, which blew a two-goal lead in the third period for the second straight game before recovering to win in overtime. 

Jason Spezza and TJ Brodie scored, and Campbell made 28 saves for Toronto, the No. 1 seed.

Game 7 is in Toronto on Monday. The winner will play the No. 3 seed Winnipeg Jets in the second round.

Perry gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead at 5:26 of the third period, shooting into an open net after Campbell was unable to cover the puck up during a scramble in the crease. Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe challenged the play for goaltender interference, but the call was upheld after a video review, resulting in a penalty for delay of game.

On the ensuing power play, Mitchell Marner was assessed his own a penalty for delay of game when he shot the puck over the glass, giving Montreal a 5-on-3 power play. Toffoli then scored with a quick shot short side on Campbell from in front to make it 2-0 at 6:43.

Prior to Perry’s goal, the Canadiens were 0-for-15 with the man-advantage in the series.

Spezza scored his third goal of the series to cut it to 2-1 at 11:35 of the third, kicking the puck to his stick before shooting top shelf from in front.

Brodie tied it at 2-2 at 16:49 when his slap shot from the right circle deflected off Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry‘s skate and beat Price under his arm.

Toronto defenseman Jake Muzzin left the game in the second period because of a lower-body injury.

A crowd of about 2,500 was permitted to attend the first NHL game in Canada with fans since March 11, 2020.

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