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Canadiens @ Maple Leafs Top Six Minutes: Habs control the game, but fall in OT

Leafs defeat the Habs in 3-2 in overtime, Kotkaniemi gets first NHL point.

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full recaps are up the morning after every game.

Pre-game thoughts

  • It’s the first (game) of the monthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Better yet, it’s the first (game) of the year.
  • Karl Alzner and Tomas Plekanec in the lineup. I still can’t believe this happened.
  • I’ve been a huge fan of the Tomas Tatar-Philip Danault partnership since pre-season. I’ll be looking out for them. Oh, and Spicy Kotkaniemi (that’s my personal nickname for him).
  • On the side of the Leafs, it’s hard to not salivate at the 1-2-3 centre depth of Matthews-Tavares-Kadri.
  • Fort Minor’s Remember the Name plays during the pre-game introductions at the Scotiabank Centre (are people going to seriously call it that or are we going to treat it like how we do the Skydome?)

First period

  • And away...we...GO.
  • Kotkaniemi gets tripped during incidental contact on his first real NHL shift. Had he not, he might’ve finished a super nice deke around a defender. Here’s a fun fact about him courtesy of Scort Malta.
  • Habs are more dangerous, and are a much quicker team four minutes in. But they were also the better team to start in their previous (pre-season) game against them. The Leafs won that game.
  • John Tavares went 1-on-1 versus Jordie Benn and didn’t score.
  • The best line on right now is the Domi line.
  • Arturri Lehkonen scores the first goal of the game off a wrap-around! 1-0 Canadiens! Byron and Domi get assists as well!
  • I have to say, that Auston Matthews shot that went bardown. N-A-S-T-Y. 1-1.

Second period

  • To the second we go!
  • Leafs power play is back at it. They got a goal the first time around, what about the second?
  • Not today, says Carey Price. He’s made a few great saves so far.
  • Domi trips up Nazem Kadri, takes a penalty. Or does he?
  • Tie Domi, Max’s dad, is in the house, but he’s not wearing a Habs jersey.
  • Carey Price, yet again, makes a sensational save.
  • John Tavares scores his first official goal as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 2-1 Leafs.
  • Andrew Shaw ties the game at two, but more importantly...Jesperi Kotkaniemi has his first NHL point with an assist. Max Domi has two assists!

Third period

  • Au troisième!
  • Power play time pour le Canadien with 14 minutes to play. Former Hab Ron Hainsey gets called.
  • 1 for 7 in faceoffs, Jesperi Kotkaniemi. That’s not a great stat on an otherwise memorable night for Kotkaniemi, who has his first NHL point.
  • Max Domi just missed a WIDE open net. Would’ve capped off a banner night for him.
  • Are we getting free hockey? As the seconds wind down on this third period? Sure looks like it.
  • Carey Price, again. So good.


  • Well, it turns out the Leafs’ skill works well in the 3-on-3 period.

Highlight of the night

A game-tying goal, and a first point for Jesperi Kotkaniemi

EOTP 3 Stars

3) We may have to adopt this

2) Although Benn was surprisingly effective tonight. Where did that come from?

1) At least we’re all having fun.