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Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs Top Six Minutes: Rocketing past Toronto

The Canadiens get major performances from recent minor-leaguers to complete the comeback on home ice.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

First period

  • The crowd is into this game early. The loudest it’s been to start a game in a while. Well, since the Subban game at least.
  • The Canadiens obviously aren’t though, as the Maple Leafs get on the board quickly.
  • Samuel Montembeault seemed to be expecting Mark Giordano to go somewhere else with the shot, as it goes right through him.
  • Zach Aston-Reese stops playing and looks at the refs expecting a hooking penalty. “Play on, young man,” they say to him, and the play continues.
  • Joel Edmundson demands an answer, I don’t think he heard what he wanted to.
  • Aston-Reese’s guilty conscience leads to a penalty on his next shift.
  • It’s been 57 seconds of power-play time and I miss Caufield already.
  • Arber Xhekaj’s shot misses the net. First time this season.
  • A nice post-power-play shift from Montreal’s ... third-and-a-half line? ... nearly results in goal for Michael Pezzetta.
  • The game is wide-open, as it often is between these two teams. One decade the Leafs will actually commit to defence.
  • It not leading to many recorded shots on goal, however.
  • A nice backcheck from Nick Suzuki prevents an odd-man rush, but no one defends the follow-up play and Calle Jarnkrok is all alone to tap the puck in.
  • Nearly a short-handed goal from Suzuki to Christian Dvorak. That would have been a nice finish to the period.

Second period

  • His pass didn’t pay off to end the second period, but Suzuki’s pass to Josh Anderson early in the third results in a goal for the winger.
  • Spare a thought for Andrea who lost power just before the game started and missed that Anderson goal.
  • Anderson speeds around the zone, comes out into open space, and nearly scores again. If I didn’t want to see Montreal make a trade with Tampa Bay, I’d suggest the Leafs’ first-round opponent consider a trade for him.
  • The Leafs’ complete lack of defensive play forces Ilya Samsonov to break-dance in his crease to make about six saves, and now he seems to be hurt. He does stay in, however.
  • Samsonov is now getting shelled by ... Alex Belzile and Michael Pezzetta. Good luck in the post-season, Leafs.
  • Toronto runs Montembeault (with a little help from Joel Edmundson, as he does) and heads to the box. Can the power play take advantage?
  • No, but again Jesse Ylönen helped make it a two-minute power play rather than ending on a one-minute break for the opponent. He’ll be on the top unit soon.
  • The third-and-a-half line gets another shift after the power play, and it’s a goal for Rafaël Harvey-Pinard as he charges the net.
  • The shots are almost evened up as the Leafs have generated nothing this period.
  • And now Montreal is ahead on the shot counter following a few more shots for the TAAH line. The AHL line? HPBH line? A bunch of guys over the moon to be playing in this rivalry, anyway.
  • Anderson uses his speed to draw a penalty as Giordano tries to slow him down. If only he could play like this every night....
  • Mike Hoffman nearly decapitates Samsonov with a one-timer on the power play. Fortunately for him his head wasn’t in his mask when it flew off.
  • An excellent period for the Canadiens. An embarrassing one for the Maple Leafs who are about to get shredded by Sheldon Keefe in the dressing room.

Third period

  • Chris Cuthbert wonders if Has fans want a win or another loss to help their odds of getting Connor Bedard. The answer is always to beat the Leafs (and Bruins, whom them play next, on Tuesday).
  • One last quick rush on the power play forces another save from Samsonov. A good way to open the final period.
  • Now it’s the Leafs turn to have some pressure on Montreal.
  • Dach skates right through the Leafs defence, accepts a pass, and nearly scores.
  • Ylönen gets a bit too fancy on his own chance, looking for a pass when a shot was the answer. He’s just not comfortable in his NHL game yet.
  • Anderson very nearly gets another on a rush.
  • Montembeault tries to kick the puck out of a scrum behind the net, uses his own speed to race back and make a cross-crease toe save.
  • Oh, it’s Mme. Béliveau’s birthday. That explains this Habs performance.
  • Evgenii Dadonov gets taken down with no call. Kirby Dach makes a similar play moments later and heads to the box.
  • Suzuki gets another short-handed look. That’s the best way to kill a penalty.
  • Williams Nylander gets his stick up on Edmundson, and he’s off to the box with just over two minutes left. A chance for the Canadiens’ power play to win this game. I’m calling Ylönen.
  • Cuthbert says Montreal leads the league in four-on-three goals, and I don’t believe that at all.
  • Dach hits the post midway through the power play. Gah!
  • Nylander has a shot at redemption out of the box, but his long-range shot is kicked aside by Montembeault and we’re off to overtime. It’s pretty incredible that Montreal even earned a point from this game, so it’s bonus time now.


  • Montreal’s first scoring chance in overtime goes to ... Josh Anderson.
  • Great speed from Dach to create his own opportunity down the wing.
  • The last scoring chance goes to Rem Pitlick, with a perfect shot to beat Samsonov for the winner. Three unanswered goals for Montreal.
  • The Canadiens ensure at least a split with the Maple Leafs this season. Expect to hear the words “wake-up call” from Toronto players and coaches after the game.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) Now to make sure he and Suzuki are surrounded with good wingers

2) A needed positive outlook on the situation

1) I know you’re not talking about Toronto