The Montreal Canadiens, backs to the wall in their first-round playoff with the Toronto Maple Leafs, had no choice but to lay it all out last night.
And they did.
They took the lead five minutes into the game on a goal by Joel Armia. He scored another three minutes later. Jesperi Kotkaniemi made it a 3-0 game early in the second.
But the Leafs did not give up. Zach Hyman got them on the board early in the third period. Jake Muzzin scored twice to tie the game and force overtime.
A giveaway at the Canadiens’ blueline less than a minute into the extra frame sent Nick Suzuki and rookie Cole Caufield on a two-man breakaway. A couple of back-and-forth passes later and the game was over with Suzuki scoring the winner.
The series shifts back to Montreal for Game Six Saturday night. As many as 2500 fans will be allowed in the stands as Quebec starts to loosen its COVID restrictions.
banner image via NHL.com video