The Maple Leafs are the greats NHL team in history.
We got some bad news minutes ahead of puck drop, when the Leafs announced that Nick Foligno would miss tonight’s game with a lower body injury.
Maple Leafs forward Nick Foligno (lower body) will not play tonight.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) May 24, 2021
This means the Maple Leafs were missing two centres, with John Tavares out since his injury in game one. Riley Nash suited up as 2C to start the game between Alex Galchenyuk and William Nylander.
The Leafs win the face off, Ben Chiarot steps on Hymans stick like an idiot and almost wrecks his knee, and then Morgan Rielly gets a pass off an offensive zone face off and almost scores. All in the first 30 seconds. Woo! Playoff hockey!
Chiarot goes down as he steps on Hyman's stick pic.twitter.com/1UJqo7dXZU— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 24, 2021
Pair of deflections as Rielly shoots from the point pic.twitter.com/HsGH1SbBWA— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 24, 2021
Then, Alex Galchenyuk gets his stick up in Brendan Gallaghers face, and Gallagher is cut so they call a double minor for high sticking and the Habs get a four minute power play, one minute into the game.
Galchenyuk gets a double minor for high sticking pic.twitter.com/DOJYzse8uz— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 24, 2021
The Maple Leafs penalty kill gets through the first two minutes by denying the Canadiens any quality chances or ice time in the offensive zone. Cole Caulfield hits the post, but aside from that the Leafs force the Habs to ring the puck around the boards and play catch up. This continues for two ore minutes and the penalty is killed off with the Maple Leafs getting one short handed shot and the Canadiens getting no power play shots on net.
Jack Campbell is on point tonight, when he makes an easy save of a pretty okay play between Tyler Toffoli and Gallagher, who beat the Leafs defence to the net, and then gets that glove on a Caufield shot, who took advantage of the puck bouncing over Matthews stick to run down the ice.
Jack closes the five-hole as the puck is re-directed pic.twitter.com/KDGz0OF9gP— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 24, 2021
The Maple Leafs get their first power play of the game when the Habs are called for delay of game - this puck over the glass isn’t stupid when Montreal does it - and unlike the host team, they get a shot! And then Nylander and Spezza make Price dive across the net to just barely catch the puck and deflect it up and over the net.
Carey Price robs Jason Spezza blind with the paddle pic.twitter.com/MTYHM1CoYD— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 24, 2021
What happens at 5 on 5 is a possession duel between these two teams, and shots that miss the net when they’re allowed to happen. Both teams are working each other hard and taking pucks away. This means we get stuck at 10 or fewer shots by both of them when the first period ends.
Auston Matthews with a big hit on Danault along the boards pic.twitter.com/YINlv4nM1P— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 24, 2021
Rasmus Sandin helps shorten the Canadiens bench:
Tough collision between Sandin and Lehkonen here pic.twitter.com/pTtvszn9lK— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 24, 2021
Then Justin Holl takes a penalty for “cross checking” Corey Perry and the Habs get their second penalty of the night. Not that it matters, as the Leafs penalty kill keeps them from getting a shot yet again. The man advantage ends early when Tyler Toffoli gets called for a late hit on TJ Brodie, seven seconds of four on four before the Leafs power play to end the first period.
No score after one, and the Habs are down a player.
Artturi Lehkonen ne reviendra pas au jeu ce soir.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) May 24, 2021
Artturi Lehkonen won't return to the game tonight.
The second period starts all Leafs, with a few shots and lots of time spent in front of Price. Engvall and Kulak have words and get separated by the refs.
The Maple Leafs get another power play when Corey Perry high sticks Wayne Simmonds, with Simmonds wanting a double minor, but he’s denied. Unlike the Canadiens, the Maple Leafs are getting shots on net but they can’t get one past Price yet.
Perry high-sticked Simmonds here but he's now in the Habs locker room pic.twitter.com/h6Vl0Ub0La— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 25, 2021
Yes, sadly Perry went to the Habs dressing room, to get his fear of Wayne Simmonds treated, and even sadder the Leafs don’t score on the power play.
William Nylander shoots through traffic and opens the scoring to make it 1-0 Leafs.
The Habs try to push back, but Jack Campbell can not be beat tonight.
Glove save and a stick tap by Jack Campbell pic.twitter.com/ms8mZZT4pQ— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 25, 2021
Wow way to jinx it.
Nick Suzuki ties the game with a shot from the side that goes around a slightly off speed Morgan Rielly.
The Leafs are pushing hard and not quitting after that goal. Simmonds, Nylander, and Engvall all get physical with the Canadiens and don’t back down.
Rielly make sup for the tying goal when he scores the Leafs second goal of the game, going over Prices shoulder to make the red light go.
There’s a bunch of rebounds happening in front of Price, one, two, three shots but all get stopped and then the Canadiens get mad about how vastly inferior they are at hockey to the Maple Leafs and start a scrum. Auston Matthews once again just laughs at how mad the Habs are.
The Maple Leafs get another power play, with Josh Anderson and Ben Chariot getting put in the box for Montreal and only TJ Brodie going away for the Leafs. Auston Matthews sends a laser down the ice from the slot, but Price makes the save. The first period ends, but the Leafs power play will continue in the third.
2-1 Maple Leafs after two.
The third begins with 50 seconds of power play for the Leafs, and the Canadiens try playing defence this time and keep the Leafs from getting a good shot in this 50 seconds. Powerplay ends without a goal.
Also, this happens?
Lol so Weber high sticks Suzuki and the Habs bench wants a penalty pic.twitter.com/svrDG3CmbT— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 25, 2021
We get an uninterrupted stretch of play for five minutes where Matthews lays hits, Campbell makes saves and we get to watch some great hockey that is very less stressful because the Leafs are winning.
Wayne Simmonds is popping off on the Habs— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 25, 2021
"All you f--king guys!" pic.twitter.com/blIDKBgyYH
The Canadiens come down the ice and shoot from the point, and Mitch Marner tries to help out by kicking the puck away, fails, falls, and makes the save with the cool “just relaxing, bro” power move.
Jack saves the Caufield shot and covers up pic.twitter.com/98IOqHG69G— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 25, 2021
The Canadiens continue to dominate the third period, out shooting the Leafs 8-1 more than eleven minutes into the game. Jack Campbell is getting a work out in the final period of the game,
Campbell takes a Gallagher shot off the mask pic.twitter.com/Qs5Peff0hc— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 25, 2021
The final minute of the game are all Jack Campbell, all the time. Price doesn’t get much of a workout as the Leafs seem to want to work on their defensive skills more than shooting.
With two minutes remaining Price is pulled for the extra skater, but the Leafs continue to play the “skate to centre, dump it in” game despite the open net.
The Canadiens play it slow, and calm, and set up their shots nicely with the extra skater, but the Leafs continue to clog the zone, and Campbell continues to make the saves, and the Leafs hold on to win the game 2-1 and take a 2-1 series lead.
The Maple Leafs eeked out a win here, despite the lack of get up and go in the third period. The Canadiens owned the game for the third and the two minutes with six skaters was incredibly stressful. Play a full sixty tomorrow night Leafs.
The Leafs won though. Game four is tomorrow night at 7:30.
Go Leafs Go!
Now, let’s have a GIF party.