Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs are used to having their hearts broken and a crack appeared late Saturday night as Montreal skated to a 3-2 overtime win at the Bell Centre, setting the stage for game seven at Scotiabank on Monday.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored at 15:15 of the extra frame setting off an explosion of celebration among the 2,500 fans who were allowed to attend the game.
Toronto dominated play in overtime and outshot Montreal 13-2, but a turnover by Maple Leaf’s defenceman Travis Dermott saw Kotkaniemi pick up a pass from Paul Bryon in the slot and score on a shot that deflected off Zach Bogosian.
For the second straight game, Montreal blew a lead in the third period before finding a way to win in overtime.
Carey Price made 41 saves in the Habs net.
Jason Spezza and TJ Brodie scored for the Leafs, as Jack Campbell stopped 28 pucks for Toronto. Brodie’s tying goal came with 3:11 left in the third period.
Toronto defenseman Jake Muzzin left in the second period because of a lower-body injury. No update was provided after the game.
The winner of this series will play the Winnipeg Jets in the second round.
Banner picture: Montreal Canadiens – Twitter