The Toronto Maple Leafs fell to the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime. The Leafs got goals Morgan Rielly and Auston Matthews, and several chances in overtime, but it was ultimately Cole Caufield who won the game in the extra period. Matthews scored his 39th goal of the season, and 29th at even strength. On a night full of questionable penalty calls, the Leafs limited the Habs to only 32 shots, 20 of which Jack Campbell stopped for the loss. Despite playing the famed shot share team, the Leafs owned 64% of the shots at even strength, and 60% of the expected goals while leading for much of the game.
Forward Nick Foligno left the game at the end of the second period with what some seem to believe is a lower-body injury, but the Leafs announced was an upper-body injury. Perhaps we all split the difference and call it a middle-body injury?
Maple Leafs forward Nick Foligno (upper body) will not return to tonight’s game in Montreal.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) May 4, 2021
Right off the bat, Morgan Rielly gets the Leafs ahead with a shot from distance that made its way through a crowd in front. Rielly did a great job of moving laterally as he surveyed the ice in between himself and the ice. His shot was lucky, but Alex Galchenyuk did a lot of work to get the puck to the point and then cause havoc for the puck to get through. This was Galch’s first point against the Canadiens as a Leaf. He’s become a really hard workers in the offensive zone and become a staple on the second line. Nylander got the second assist on the goal, his 23rd of the season, his 39th point in 47 games.
Galchenyuk gets his first point against the Habs with a no-look pass to the point pic.twitter.com/3EShvRrTnA— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 3, 2021
The Habs got the first power play with Galchenyuk taking a penalty, but the Leafs kept them from getting any chances on Campbell. They even got a shorthanded chance when Marner made a quick steal on Alexander Romanov at the point, but missed his shot high on Jake Allen.
And for those counting at home, Liljegren was taking Holl’s minutes on the penalty kill paired with Muzzin. Brodie-Dermott was the second unit.
Marner gives himself a shorthanded breakaway but shoots high pic.twitter.com/JxBJa5ZWP5— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 3, 2021
Simmonds was being his usual self: pushing the play up the ice for chances, and motivational on the bench. Those Simmonds are my favourite Simmonds.
Nice setup by Simmonds to find Kerfoot for the scoring chance pic.twitter.com/7DDqmL1SZi— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 3, 2021
Most players don’t have the reactions to turn this into a scoring chance. Most players aren’t Auston Matthews.
- Shot attempts: 21-11 (66%)
- Shots on goal: 9-8
- Scoring chances: 10-7
- Expected goals: 0.67-0.74 (48%)
Penalty talk again. After gaining the lead early, the Leafs were punished for being evil penalty-takers twice in the period, while the Habs were completely innocent. The Nylander penalty, especially viewed before the non-call for roughing in front of the net, was pretty dubious. I’m sure the Leafs will get some even-ups in the second, but I don’t think the team that had the puck as little as the Habs did at 5v5 were a clean team in the first.
Oh cool, another weak call. This time to Foligno for letting Anderson dive.
Foligno's one-handed stick wack was enough to make Anderson fall lol pic.twitter.com/AJnyYDUQro— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 4, 2021
Third time’s the charm for the
refs Habs as Tyler Toffoli scored.
Oh, and just like that, the game is tied so the Leafs get a power play.
Campbell had to make /this/ save shorthanded. It was a crucial save at a critical time.
Nylander got a breakaway chance for his 40th point of the season, but Allen stopped him.
Nylander's breakaway chance stopped by Allen pic.twitter.com/FSoKAzfvSw— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 4, 2021
There was a long stretch of play without a whistle that eventually ruined by the Habs going offside. As the two teams kept rolling lines out on the ice, the play really stretched out with chances going at either end. The Leafs defense had to be versatile, especially when they made mistakes. Brodie had a giveaway, but got away with it unscathed.
Foligno left the game with a potential injury with a couple minutes left in the second. Omar found this clip, but it doesn’t explain much. The Leafs later reported that he was done for the game.
The last shift for Foligno— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 4, 2021
You can see him reach for his leg as he stops pic.twitter.com/ORBtkZ9lye
With his left hand man out, Matthews got down and dirty, and tipped home his 39th goal of the season from in front of the net. Muzzin took the point shot that Matthews got his blade on, while Thornton got the secondary assist, promoted in place of Foligno.
- Shot attempts: 12-7 (63%)
- Shots on goal: 6-2
- Scoring chances: 8-4
- Expected goals: 0.51-0.14 (78%)
It was a great period for the Leafs. they excelled in the long middle stretch without a whistle, taking advantage of chances when they got it and using their talent to cover up mistakes. Despite the Habs (and refs) best efforts, the Leafs were consistently out-shooting the Habs all through the game.
Omar went back and looked for any other moments that might’ve hurt Foligno, he found this one.
Another thing to consider with Foligno here as he was tripped with a collision into the boards earlier in the period— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 4, 2021
Who knows pic.twitter.com/s9HQDcdEsK
More diving for Anderson— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 4, 2021
Nylander taps him and he falls pic.twitter.com/R1pWWc7kLm
Campbell with another brilliant save!
It might be a little derivative to say the Leafs shut the game down for much of the third period, but they definitely limited shots and zone time for the Canadiens in the defensive zone.
With less than a minute left in the game, Phillip Danault found a hole through Campbell from the side of the net, sending the game to overtime.
Regulation 5v5 stats:
- Shot attempts: 41-28 (59%)
- Shots on goal: 19-11
- Scoring chances: 20-14
- Expected goals: 1.29-1.09 (54%)
Unlike many Leafs teams of old, this team hadn’t shut off their offense while carrying the lead for most of the game. They were playing with offense and getting chances, which meant they could go back to offense when it became necessary.
The Habs started out as cowards, holding the puck for a minute waiting for Matthews to get off the ice.
And then they give it away and Matthews and Marner have a 2-on-0! Marner keeps for too long, missing the pass to Matthews. Ack.
Tavares off the post!