Playoff Game 75
Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 0
Stanley Cup Quarterfinals, Game 4
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Centre Bell, Montréal, Québec
William Nylander scored for a fourth straight game, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montréal Canadiens 4-0 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Bell Centre on Tuesday.
Jack Campbell made 32 saves for his first Stanley Cup Playoff shutout, and Alex Galchenyuk had a goal and two assists for Toronto, which extended its lead in the best-of-7 series. The Maple Leafs, the No. 1 seed in the Scotia North Division, can win their first playoff series in 17 years with a victory in Game 5 in Toronto on Thursday.
“I think the guys just did a great job in front of me,” Campbell said. “I mean, we just stuck to our game plan, got a nice lead and then everybody was just battling. So it’s not always the prettiest, but we battled until the end.”
Carey Price made 24 saves for Montréal, the No. 4 seed, which has lost three straight, including a 2-1 loss here Monday.
“I think we just need to forget about this one quick,” Montréal forward Joel Armia said. “It’s not over yet. I feel like we have a good atmosphere in the locker room. Everybody knows that it’s not over and we’re going to work hard for the next game.”
The series winner will play the No. 3 Winnipeg Jets in the Stanley Cup Second Round.
Teams that hold a 3-1 lead are 292-29 (91.0 percent) winning a best-of-7 NHL playoff series.
“We’re going to see their absolute best next game and we have to make sure that we’re ready to go,” Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza said. “It’s important we get some rest here after a tough back-to-back, and then we’ve got to come ready to play because they’re going to be a determined team. The fourth win is the hardest to get.”
Alexander Kerfoot got the first of his three assists on Nylander’s fourth goal of the series at 1:27 of the second period. Galchenyuk took Kerfoot’s pass as he drove the slot before making a no-look pass to set up Nylander for a backhand tap-in and a 1-0 lead.
Nylander is the third player in Maple Leafs history to score in each of their first four playoff games, the first since Wendel Clark in 1986. Gordie Drillon scored in Toronto’s first five playoff games in 1939.
Spezza made it 2-0 at 12:28 when he deflected Galchenyuk’s pass on a 2-on-1. On Monday, Price made a spectacular save, lunging to deflect the puck away on Spezza’s shot at an open net.
“He is probably the best goalie of our generation, but I think it’s just important that you don’t get frustrated when saves are made,” Spezza said. “You know saves are going to be made at times, and as a goal-scorer you have to stay around the net. When you’re getting chances it’s usually a good sign. So I expect him to make saves, you’re not going to score every time, but you’ve just got to stay with it.”
Joe Thornton (41 years, 327 days) became the oldest player to score a playoff point for the Maple Leafs when he deflected Spezza’s pass inside the left post at 14:56 to make it 3-0.
Galchenyuk scored into an empty net at 16:29 of the third period for the 4-0 final and his first three-point playoff game after he was a healthy scratch in Game 1. The forward was the No. 3 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft by Montréal.
“He’s stayed with it, stayed ready,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He’s gotten better in each game that he’s played and obviously he was a major difference-maker tonight for us.”
The Canadiens, who have scored four goals, were 0-for-4 on the power play and are 0-for-13 in the series.
“I thought we had good chances to score tonight,” Montréal coach Dominique Ducharme said. “We had some good looks. But sometimes guys think about it and squeeze the stick. Confidence is a big thing when you’re talking about scoring goals.”
NOTES: Ron Francis (Game 5 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals) and Allan Stanley (Game 6 of the 1967 Stanley Cup Final) each got a playoff assist for Toronto at the age of 41 years, 62 days…Campbell is the fourth Maple Leafs goalie with a playoff shutout against the Canadiens and first since Johnny Bower in Game 2 of the 1967 Stanley Cup Final. Bower had four playoff shutouts against Montréal, and Frank McCool (1945) and Turk Broda (1947) each had one…Drillon’s five-game goal streak is tied with Sid Smith (1951) and Dave Andreychuk (1993) for the longest in Maple Leafs playoff history…Galchenyuk’s points were his first in the playoffs for Toronto. He scored 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 28 playoff games with Montréal and none in four games with the Minnesota Wild.
MTL PEN – 02:30 – Kotkaniemi, slashing
TOR PEN – 13:49 – Brodie, slashing
TOR PEN – 17:02 – team, too many men on the ice
TOR GOAL – 01:27 – Nylander (Galchenyuk, Kerfoot)
TOR GOAL – 12:28 – Spezza (Galchenyuk, Muzzin)
MTL PEN – 13:17 – Chiarot, cross checking
TOR PP GOAL – 14:56 – Thornton (Spezza, Kerfoot)
TOR PEN – 16:49 – Brooks, roughing
TOR PEN – 07:21 – Thornton, tripping
TOR EN GOAL – 16:29 – Galchenyuk (Kerfoot)
TOR – Campbell (W + SO, 32-32)
MTL – Price (L, 24-27)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 9+15+4 = 28
MTL – 6+12+14 = 32
TOR – Goaltenders: Frederik Andersen, Jack Campbell. Defence: Zach Bogosian, T.J. Brodie, Travis Dermott, Justin Holl, Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly (A). Forwards: Adam Brooks, Pierre Engvall, Alex Galchenyuk, Zach Hyman, Alexander Kerfoot, Mitchell Marner (A), Auston Matthews (A), Ilya Mikheyev, 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, Corey Perry, Eric Staal, Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar, Tyler Toffoli.
⭐ Jason Spezza (TOR)
⭐⭐ Alex Galchenyuk (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Jack Campbell (TOR)