TORONTO — Auston Matthews had a goal and two assists, and the Toronto Maple Leafs evened the Stanley Cup First Round by defeating the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 in Game 2 at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.
The Maple Leafs were without captain John Tavares, who sustained a concussion and a knee injury in Game 1 on Thursday. The forward is out indefinitely.
Rasmus Sandin scored his first Stanley Cup Playoff goal, William Nylander had a goal and an assist, and Jack Campbell made 22 saves for the Maple Leafs, who had lost nine straight playoff games to the Canadiens since Game 6 of the 1967 Stanley Cup Final, the last time Toronto won the Cup.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored after being a healthy scratch in Game 1, and Carey Price made 29 saves for the Canadiens.
Game 3 of the best-of-7 series is at Montreal on Monday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVAS, SN).
Matthews put Toronto up 2-1 at 5:15 of the second period when he scored on the rebound of Justin Holl‘s shot.
Sandin made it 3-1 on the power play at 13:20 with a slap shot from the top of the slot. The Canadiens challenged for goaltender interference, but the goal was upheld after review.
Nylander scored on the power play at 8:50 of the third period to make it 4-1. Toronto had gone 32 games without scoring two power play goals in a game.
Montreal pulled Price for the extra attacker with 6:26 remaining in the third. Alexander Kerfoot scored into an empty net to make it 5-1 with 1:23 remaining.
The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead at 7:57 of the first period when Kotkaniemi put in a rebound in the slot. It was his first goal in 25 games.
Jason Spezza tied it 1-1 at 12:25 when he shot past Price’s glove from the right face-off dot after a loose puck came to him as he came off the bench.