Maple Leafs rally, defeat Canadiens in OT in opener


TORONTO — Morgan Rielly scored with 1:36 remaining in overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday.

Rielly took a pass from John Tavares on a 2-on-1 and shot past a sprawling Carey Price.

William Nylander had two goals and an assist, Tavares had a goal and two assists, and Frederik Andersen made 28 saves for the Maple Leafs (1-0-0).

Josh Anderson scored twice in his Montreal debut, Nick Suzuki and Tomas Tatar each had a goal, and Price made 29 saves for the Canadiens (0-0-1).

Anderson, who was acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for Max Domi and a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft on Oct. 6, 2020, scored his second of the game to give the Canadiens a 4-3 lead at 1:03 of the third period when he cut around Tavares and shot under the arm of Andersen.

Jimmy Vesey, who was making his Toronto debut, tied it 4-4 at 10:33 after Nylander got a turnover by Jonathan Drouin behind Montreal’s net.

Suzuki gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead at 12:49 of the first period with a power-play goal, but Nylander tied it 1-1 at 15:56.

Anderson made it 2-1 at 19:36 of the first after taking a pass from Drouin at the top of the right face-off circle and shooting past Andersen’s blocker.

Tatar scored on a breakaway on the power play at 7:20 of the second period to extend the lead to 3-1. Alexander Romanov had the primary assist on the play for his first NHL point. 

Nylander scored with a wrist shot past Price’s glove on the power play to cut it to 3-2 at 18:00. Jason Spezza‘s assist on the play was his 600th in the NHL.

Tavares tied it 3-3 at 19:21 when he redirected a pass from Mitchell Marner at the top of the crease during a 5-on-3 power play.

Joe Thornton, who signed a one-year contract with the Maple Leafs as an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 16, 2020, after spending the previous 15 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, had no points and two shots in 17:30 of ice time.

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