Rielly lifts Maple Leafs to 2-1 win over Canadiens in Game 3

MONTREAL — Morgan Rielly scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, Jack Campbell made 27 saves, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

William Nylander scored his third goal in as many games for Toronto, which hasn’t won a playoff series since 2004 and can go up 3-1 in Game 4 back at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.

Nick Suzuki had the lone goal for Montreal, and Carey Price stopped 27 shots.

The Maple Leafs remained without captain John Tavares, who’s expected to miss at least two weeks with a concussion and knee injury suffered during a scary collision in Game 1.

Nick Foligno wasn’t on the ice for the morning skate — Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe emphatically declared him fit to play — and was in warmups, but sat out the game with a lower-body injury. Riley Nash took his spot the lineup.

Toronto opened the scoring at 7:18 of the second period when Alexander Kerfoot, who was promoted to the second line with Foligno out, won an offensive zone faceoff back to Nylander. With two goals in as many games coming into Monday, the Leafs forward made it 3 for 3 with a quick shot that glanced off Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot and past Price.

After Price denied Pierre Engvall on the doorstep on a long Toronto shift in the Canadiens’ end, Montreal started to find some life and Suzuki eventually tied it at 13:56 when his shot off the rush when he beat Campbell under the blocker.

But Rielly restored the Leafs’ advantage 2:39 later when he took a pass from Mitch Marner and fooled Price upstairs.

Auston Matthews was denied by Price on the doorstep before Marner was also stopped in close before a big scrum ensued, with the Canadiens earning an extra minor penalty, as Toronto outshot Montreal 20-7 in the period.

Caufield wired a shot over Campbell’s net on a chance midway through the third, and the Leafs goaltender was there again on another sharp-angle effort off the winger’s stick.

Campbell then stopped Josh Anderson, Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault in quick succession as Montreal pushed desperately to tie. Toronto defenseman Justin Holl then blocked a late chance by Caufield as the Leafs held on.

LOOKING FOR OFFENSE

The Canadiens dressed rookie sniper Cole Caufield after generating just three goals in the first two games of the series in Toronto. The 20-year-old Caufield scored four times in 10 games towards the end of the regular season, including one in overtime against the Leafs, following a dominant career with the U.S. National Team Development Program and two standouts seasons in college at the University of Wisconsin.

NOTES: Montreal F Eric Staal sat out with an undisclosed injury, which prevented Tatar being made a healthy scratch. … If there’s a Game 6 on Saturday in Montreal, the Quebec government will permit 2,500 fans into the Bell Centre — the first Canadian NHL crowd since the start of the pandemic last year.

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    Bruins set NHL record with 12 straight home wins to start season

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    BOSTON — The Boston Bruins set the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with their 12th straight, topping the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime with a power-play goal from David Pastrnak.

    The Bruins broke the mark of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

    “That felt awesome,” Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery said. “We talked about it after the second (period) going into the third. There’s been a lot of great teams in this league and you’re able to set a precedent, break a record. It’s pretty special and it doesn’t happen if those guys don’t believe in themselves like they do.”

    Boston, which trailed 2-0 late in the second period, tied it with 9:33 left in regulation when David Krejci scored his second of the game on a shot from the right point.

    “It’s never fun being down going into the third, you’re sitting in here (in the locker room) trying to figure it out,” Krejci said. “You want to come out and do the job, something special on the line. It’s hard to win in this league. To get 12 in a row at home is pretty special.”

    In overtime, Carolina was playing shorthanded after being called for too many men on the ice when Pastrnak one-timed a pass from Brad Marchand inside the far post from above the left circle.

    “It was a big win for us, obviously, coming from behind,” Pastrnak said.

    Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stefan Noesen each scored a power-play goal for Carolina, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 38 saves. The Hurricanes lost their fifth straight.

    In a rematch of last spring’s opening-round playoff series that the Hurricanes won in seven games, Carolina shutout the NHL’s highest scoring team for nearly two periods and jumped ahead a pair of power-play goals in the opening period.

    “We took too many penalties. That’s hurting us right now,” Kotaniemi said. “I think 5-on-5 we’re doing a really good job. We started good tonight and couldn’t keep that up.”

    Boston’s tying goal was originally disallowed because of goaltender interference on Nick Foligno but overturned on a coach’s challenge after it was ruled that he was nudged into the crease by Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce.

    Boston starting goaltender Linus Ullmark made 28 saves but had to leave with 13:03 left in the third period with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Teammate Connor Clifton had jumped on him to block a shot during a scramble. Jeremy Swayman made six stops in relief.

    Carolina’s Noesen scored at 6:34 in to make it 1-0. And with five minutes left in the period, Kotkaniemi collected the puck near the side of the net after Seth Jarvis‘ shot bounced off the back glass and slipped it inside the post at 15:05.

    Krejci scored for Boston with 31 seconds left in the second.

    Boston came in with a league-high 82 goals in 20 games (4.10 per game), but it was held to relatively few chances despite getting a 5-on-3 power-play advantage early on.

    TAKE NOTE

    The Bruins honored captain Patrice Bergeron, who recorded his 1,000th career point when the team was on the road against Tampa Bay, with a message on the Jumbotron. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

    Bergeron became just the fourth Bruin to reach the mark, joining Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012).

    UP NEXT

    Hurricanes: Host the Calgary Flames.

    Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Predators postpone 2 games due to Nashville water main break

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    NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  The Nashville Predators postponed two home games because of a water main break that soaked their downtown arena.

    Hours after the Predators decided they couldn’t play against the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced it also postponed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Makeup dates for the two games will be announced later.

    The NHL said the water main break that occurred “significantly impacted the event level” of Bridgestone Arena. Team locker rooms and the ice surface are on the event level.

    Predators President and CEO Sean Henry told reporters that the water in the event level ranged from 3 inches to 3 feet.

    “We’re assessing it right now. We’re remediating it,” Henry said. “The good thing is, the water got shut off, the city responded in a pretty fast manner. I don’t think anyone is ready for things like this the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

    Video posted by a WTVF-TV reporter shows the water puddled up on the main floor’s concourse area and the team store. The team was forced to close the store until further notice, pointing shoppers online for Black Friday specials.

    The Predators’ next home game is now scheduled for Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

    The water issue also resulted in a switch to a different venue for a college hockey game between Northeastern and Western Michigan. They also had been scheduled to play at Bridgestone Arena, a game that was moved to Ford Ice Center Bellevue.

    Rangers trade Ryan Reaves to Wild for 5th-round pick in 2025

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    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The New York Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Minnesota Wild for a 2025 fifth-round pick.

    Reaves had been a healthy scratch for eight of the past 12 games for the Rangers. He gives struggling Minnesota some extra muscle and a veteran presence.

    The 35-year-old is signed through only the rest of this season at a $1.75 million salary cap hit. He has no points and 12 penalty minutes in 12 games of his second season with New York.

    Reaves has played in 869 NHL regular-season and playoff games for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers. He was with the Golden Knights during their inaugural season in 2017-18 when the reached the Stanley Cup Final.

    Toronto’s Morgan Rielly placed on long-term injured reserve

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    TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury.

    Rielly was hurt in a collision with with New York forward Kyle Palmieri early in the third period of Toronto’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders at home.

    Rielly has no goals and 16 assists in 20 games this season and is averaging 23 minutes of ice time.

    Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice that the 28-year-old Rielly doesn’t need surgery, adding there’s no firm timeline for his return beyond the minimum 24 days and 10 games required for going on long-term injured reserve.

    Toronto’s defense is also missing Jake Muzzin with a neck injury and T.J. Brodie with an injured oblique.