Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 4 (OT)
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
Morgan Rielly scored with 1:36 remaining in overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 win against the Montréal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday.
Rielly took a pass from John Tavares on a 2-on-1 and shot past a sprawling Carey Price.
“It was a good game to play in, to watch. Good way to open the year with a win,” Rielly said. “They’re a good team, they came out and played hard which is what we expected, so we’re happy with the win, obviously. We’ve got a lot of areas to get better, and we’ll talk tomorrow about ways we can improve, but to open with a win, it’s always a good feeling.”
Rielly’s goal came 34 seconds after Frederik Andersen got across the crease and stopped a one-timer by Tyler Toffoli.
“When a goalie steps up to make a save like that, the boys get fired up,” William Nylander said.
Nylander had two goals and an assist, Tavares had a goal and two assists, and Frederik Andersen made 28 saves for the Maple Leafs (1-0-0).
“It’s the first time playing a game at that tempo,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We just had a pretty emotional comeback win for our first game, so I’m not going to get too nit-picky. We’ll get better every day.”
Josh Anderson scored twice in his Montréal debut, Nick Suzuki and Tomas Tatar each had a goal, and Price made 29 saves for the Canadiens (0-0-1).
“You never like to lose, but I thought we had started well in the first half of the game and did as good a job you could for the first game,” Montréal coach Claude Julien said. “We had a lead and were in control, but penalties gave them an opportunity to come back in the game.”
Anderson, who was acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for Max Domi and a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft on Oct. 6, 2020, scored his second of the game to give the Canadiens a 4-3 lead at 1:03 of the third period when he cut around Tavares and shot under the arm of Andersen.
Jimmy Vesey, who was making his debut with the Maple Leafs after signing with them as a free agent in the offseason, tied it 4-4 at 10:33 after Nylander got a turnover by Jonathan Drouin behind Montréal’s net.
“That was huge, we were heavy on the forecheck there,” Nylander said. “It was a lucky bounce (off the referee), but a nice goal for us to get.”
Suzuki gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead at 12:49 of the first period with a power-play goal, but Nylander tied it 1-1 at 15:56.
Anderson made it 2-1 at 19:36 of the first after taking a pass from Drouin at the top of the right face-off circle and shooting past Andersen’s blocker.
Tatar scored on a breakaway on the power play at 7:20 of the second period to extend the lead to 3-1. Alexander Romanov had the primary assist on the play for his first NHL point.
Nylander scored with a wrist shot past Price’s glove on the power play to cut it to 3-2 at 18:00. Jason Spezza’s assist on the play was his 600th in the NHL.
Tavares tied it 3-3 at 19:21 when he redirected a pass from Mitchell Marner at the top of the crease during a 5-on-3 power play.
“I think we were the better team. We talked about before the game staying out of the box because that’s where they get momentum, and obviously they did tonight,” Anderson said. “I think anybody watching the game (knows) we were the better team out there, but we’re not going to forget this one. We’ll come out next time and play better.”
Joe Thornton, who signed a one-year contract with the Maple Leafs as an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 16, 2020, after spending the previous 15 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, had no points and two shots in 17:30 of ice time.
“Wasn’t that fun? Great game. Boys were down early, but we managed to come back and what a great finish that was by (Rielly),” Thornton said. “Hearing my number 97 from St. Thomas, Ontario, announced (before the game), you can’t beat that.”
Story, photo property of NHL.com
TOR PEN – 07:39 – Bogosian, tripping
TOR PEN – 11:37 – team, too many players
MTL PP GOAL – 12:50 – Suzuki (Drouin, Petry)
TOR GOAL – 15:56 – Nylander (Holl, Tavares)
MTL GOAL – 19:37 – Anderson (Drouin, Petry)
TOR PEN – 05:30 – Bogosian, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 07:20 – Tatar (Romanov, Weber)
MTL PEN – 09:38 – Kulak, cross checking
TOR PEN – 09:38 – Simmonds, fighting major
MTL PEN – 09:38 – Chiarot, fighting major
MTL PEN – 16:04 – Anderson, boarding
TOR PP GOAL – 18:00 – Nylander (Spezza, Hyman)
MTL PEN – 18:18 – Suzuki, holding
MTL PEN – 18:21 – Weber, delay of game
TOR PP2 GOAL – 19:21 – Tavares (Marner, Andersen)
MTL GOAL – 01:03 – Anderson (Edmundson, Drouin)
TOR GOAL – 10:33 – Vesey (Nylander)
TOR GOAL – 03:24 – Rielly (Tavares, Matthews)
TOR – Andersen (W, 28-32)
MTL – Price (OTL, 29-34)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 7+14+9+4 = 34
MTL – 11+7+12+2 = 32
TOR – Goaltenders: Frederik Andersen, Jack Campbell. Defence: Zach Bogosian, T.J. Brodie, Travis Dermott, Justin Holl, Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly (A). Forwards: Alexander Barabanov, Zach Hyman, Alexander Kerfoot, Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews (A), Ilya Mikheyev, William Nylander, Wayne Simmonds, Jason Spezza, John Tavares (C), Joe Thornton, Jimmy Vesey.
MTL – Goaltenders: Jake Allen, Carey Price. Defence: Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmundson, Brett Kulak, Jeff Petry, Alexander Romanov, Shea Weber (C). Forwards: Josh Anderson, Joel Armia, Paul Byron (A), Phillip Danault, Jonathan Drouin, Jake Evans, Brendan Gallagher (A), Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Artturi Lehkonen, Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar, Tyler Toffoli.
TOR – 1-0-0 (1.000)
MTL – 0-0-1 (0.50)
⭐ William Nylander (TOR)
⭐⭐ John Tavares (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Josh Anderson (MTL)