The Montreal Canadiens have defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs and are moving on to face the Winnipeg Jets.
The Canadiens completed the series comeback with a 3-1 win in Game Seven on Monday.
Brendan Gallagher opened the scoring for Montreal three minutes into the second period after a scoreless opening frame. Corey Perry was back with a power play goal over a dozen minutes later and that was all it took to seal the contest – and the series.
Tyler Toffoli added an empty net goal late for Montreal and Toronto’s William Nylander ended Canadiens netminder Carey Price’s shutout bid, but it wasn’t enough.
Toronto was unable to get its power play working, going zero for two with the extra skater.
The Maple Leafs had the shooting edge, but Price was more than equal to the task.
It was a serious comeback for the Canadiens, who were down three games to one after Game Four.
They came through with back-to-back overtime victories in Game Five and Game Six, with the latter contest taking place at the Bell Centre in front of 2,500 fans.
By the time Game Seven came around, momentum was almost entirely in Montreal’s favour and it showed.
Without a doubt, the Maple Leafs had some adversity to face. They were without John Tavares and Jake Muzzin. They had trouble getting Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner going. Matthews was held to one goal in the series and Marner didn’t score.
And Toronto’s inability to close things out in Game Seven situations came home to roost once more. They’ve now lost eight straight series-clinching games.
Game One of second round series between the Jets and Canadiens will get underway Wednesday.
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