In overtime again, Canadiens force Game 7 with Maple Leafs

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The Maple Leafs have seen this film before, and they never like the ending.

After taking a 3-1 series lead, the Maple Leafs lost their next two, and now will host the Canadiens in Game 7 on Monday night (7 p.m. ET; CNBC).

Jesperi Kotkaniemi beat Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell in the slot with 15:15 gone in overtime to give the Canadiens a 3-2 win, and the second straight overtime win that stymied a Leafs comeback.

Toronto had forced overtime at all, much like in Game 5. The Habs took a 2-0 lead, only for Jason Spezza and T.J. Brodie to score late in the third and make the extra frame possible.

Unlike Game 5, the Maple Leafs dominated the period. They outshot the Canadiens 13-2, with Montreal not getting a chance on net until 11 minutes were gone.

They just needed the second shot to win it, though, and Kotkaniemi ensured there would be a Game 7, the second of the First Round.

The two last teams standing in the First Round played two scoreless frames before the Canadiens broke through in the third. In front of fans for the first time all season — for any of the games in Canada — the Canadiens carried the pace throughout almost the entire contest.

Corey Perry finally broke the silence with a goal 5:26 into the third. After a lengthy review, it stood. On an ensuing 5-on-3 following a Mitch Marner delay of game, Tyler Toffoli put the Habs ahead 2-0.

Toronto was frazzled early, and made plenty of mistakes. They never shot on Carey Price more than nine times in a single period, even once trailing. The Leafs went 0-for-4 on the power play, while both of the Habs regulation goals came on the man advantage.

It almost didn’t matter; after the Maple Leafs comeback, the Canadiens looked deflated. They barely got any chances in overtime, and they finished the game with just four defensemen.

In overtime, though, it just takes one shot to go home as winners. Price stood on his head with 13 saves in the frame, plenty of them challenging. They rewarded him with a goal down the other end.

Of course, blown leads in the first round is nothing new for Toronto; famously, the 4-1 blown lead against the Bruins in 2013. They’ve been stuck in first round purgatory for seemingly a decade.

They nearly closed out Game 5 with a dramatic comeback from down 3-0, only to lose on a 2-0 breakaway a minute into overtime. Instead, they were forced into a Game 6 situation in Montreal, in the most boisterous environment Canada has had all year.

Toronto will host Game 7 on Monday night, and the winner has a date with the surprising Winnipeg Jets, who will have had a week to recover after their stunning First Round sweep of the Edmonton Oilers.

All the pressure is on the Leafs team that has been projected to win that division the entire season and were huge favorites in the First Round. Montreal ensured that it won’t be easy on them.

After all, anything can happen in a Game 7.

MAPLE LEAFS VS. CANADIENS (Series tied 3-3) – series livestream link

Game 1: Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1
Game 2: Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 1
Game 3: Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Game 4: Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 0
Game 5: Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Game 6: Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 2 (OT)
Monday, May 31: Canadiens at Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (CNBC)

Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.

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

    Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    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.


    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).


    Hurricanes: Host the Calgary Flames.

    Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Predators postpone 2 games due to Nashville water main break

    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    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

    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

    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

    Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    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.