Playoff Game 74
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Stanley Cup Quarterfinals, Game 3
Monday, May 24, 2021
Centre Bell, Montréal, Québec
William Nylander scored for a third straight game, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montréal Canadiens 2-1 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Bell Centre on Monday.
“He’s a dominant player when he’s on his game, and we need that from him,” Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell said of the forward. “He’s such a special player and he’s bringing it, so I think he’s getting the guys going. And other guys are stepping up and ultimately everyone’s doing the best they can, and Willie’s leading.”
Campbell made 14 of his 27 saves in the third period, and Morgan Rielly scored for Toronto, which is the No. 1 seed in the Scotia North Division and took the lead in the best-of-7 series.
“(Campbell) was unbelievable,” Nylander said. “The work he put in before the playoffs started shows what it takes to compete at this level. He’s been unbelievable for us, a huge part of our team.”
Nick Suzuki scored for Montréal, the No. 4 seed. Carey Price made 27 saves, including a lunging stick save on Jason Spezza during a Toronto power play in the first period.
The Canadiens have scored four goals in the series, including a 2-1 win in Game 1.
“I’m not frustrated at all, to be honest,” Price said. “I believe in these guys. These guys are talented guys, I see their shots in practice every day and I have no doubt that they have the ability to score a goal. They’re trying out there, I know they are, and it’s going to come. They’re playing pretty solid defence on their side, but we’re going to find a way to get through that. Their goaltender is playing well, we’re going to have to make it more difficult for him.”
Game 4 is here Tuesday. Teams that win Game 3 when tied 1-1 are 224-107 (67.7 percent) winning a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series, including 1-0 this season.
Nylander gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 7:18 of the second period. Alexander Kerfoot drew the puck back to him on a face-off, and Nylander’s low wrist shot as he curled toward the slot went inside the right post.
“He’s playing a real nice complete game here,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “It’s obviously huge for us. You look at losing (John) Tavares and then you lose (Nick) Foligno, two guys that Will started out with on a line, and he’s just continued on, produced, and played hard and given us real good shifts.”
Foligno was a late scratch because of a lower-body injury. Tavares, the Toronto captain, sustained a concussion and knee injury in Game 1 and will be out at least two weeks.
Suzuki tied it 1-1 with a wrist shot over Campbell’s right pad from the right face-off circle at 13:56.
Rielly put Toronto ahead 2-1 at 16:35 when he took a return pass from Mitchell Marner and scored on a wrist shot over Price’s glove from the right face-off dot.
“Obviously the second period wasn’t great,” Canadiens captain Shea Weber said. “I thought the first period was pretty even, but I thought they took the momentum and played better in the second. Ultimately that was the difference.”
Cole Caufield, who had three shots and played 15:50 in his playoff debut for the Canadiens, put a wrist shot off the crossbar at 2:19 of the first with Maple Leafs forward Alex Galchenyuk serving a double minor for high-sticking Brendan Gallagher.
“He’s really good. He had a good game,” Gallagher said. “He had some looks like most of us. He adds something to our group, so I thought he played a good game.”
Price lunged to his right and stretched out his stick at 10:25 of the first to make a save on Spezza, who was left shaking his head after missing out on an open left side.
“You’ve got to give credit where credit’s due,” Campbell said. “He was playing phenomenal for them and kept them in the game, and he’s been doing that all series.”
The Canadiens had no shots while going 0-for-3 on the power play, all in the first period. They are 0-for-9 in the series.
Montréal forward Artturi Lehkonen left at 11:54 of the first after he was hit in the head in a collision with Toronto forward Zach Hyman.
NOTES: Keefe said the decision on scratching Foligno was made after the forward tried to take the warmup after missing the morning skate, and that he is day to day and likely a game-time decision for Tuesday. “He ultimately thought he would be hurting the team, so we just made the decision to give him the night off,” Keefe said…Nylander is the second Maple Leafs player in the past 17 years to have a three-game goal streak in the playoffs. Auston Matthews had a four-game goal streak in both the 2017 and 2019 playoffs…Montréal outshot Toronto 15-2 in the third period.
TOR PEN – 01:02 – Galchenyuk, high sticking double minor
MTL PEN – 09:09 – Lehkonen, delay of game
TOR PEN – 15:52 – Holl, cross checking
MTL PEN – 17:46 – Toffoli, unsportsmanlike conduct
MTL PEN – 04:15 – Perry, high sticking
TOR GOAL – 07:18 – Nylander (Kerfoot)
MTL GOAL – 13:56 – Suzuki (Perry, Tatar)
TOR GOAL – 16:35 – Rielly (Marner, Brodie)
MTL PEN – 18:52 – Anderson, roughing
TOR PEN – 18:52 – Brodie, roughing
MTL PEN – 18:52 – Chiarot, roughing
TOR PEN – 20:00 – Kerfoot, unsportsmanlike conduct
MTL PEN – 20:00 – Anderson, roughing
TOR – Campbell (W, 28-29)
MTL – Price (L, 27-29)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 7+20+2 = 29
MTL – 6+8+15 = 29
TOR – Goaltenders: Frederik Andersen, Jack Campbell. Defence: Zach Bogosian, T.J. Brodie, Justin Holl, Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly (A), Rasmus Sandin. Forwards: Pierre Engvall, Alex Galchenyuk, Zach Hyman, Alexander Kerfoot, Mitchell Marner (A), Auston Matthews (A), Ilya Mikheyev, Riley Nash, William Nylander, Wayne Simmonds, Jason Spezza, Joe Thornton.
MTL – Goaltenders: Jake Allen, Carey Price. Defence: Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmundson, Brett Kulak, Jon Merrill, Jeff Petry, Shea Weber (C). Forwards: Josh Anderson, Joel Armia, Paul Byron (A), Cole Caufield, Phillip Danault, Brendan Gallagher (A), Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Artturi Lehkonen, Corey Perry, Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar, Tyler Toffoli.
⭐ Morgan Rielly (TOR)
⭐⭐ Carey Price (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ William Nylander (TOR)