After a thrilling victory in front of their crowd, the Canadiens forced the decisive.
The NHL, and fans in general, had to wait 42 years for the league's two winningest franchises, the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs, to meet again in a postseason series.
It seemed that the series between Toronto and Montreal ended in five games, but no, the Canadiens refused to go quiet. And then it looked like the Maple Leafs were going to finish the engagement in six games, and again on Saturday night, the Habs (as they say to the team among French-speaking fans) refused to be eliminated.
So this can be seen in two ways. The first one is that Toronto is setting the table for a new, hypothetically speaking, disaster when the most is expected of the team. But another angle of things suggests a series that will make use of a seventh and decisive meeting, is honoring the expectation that has been cooking since 1979.
Whatever the outcome of what happens, we will not be able to anticipate anything, since it only remains to wait for the album to be put into play on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena, where everything will have to be clarified.
Montreal hit first, again
Corey Perry Tyler Toffoli
Perry scored 1-0 at 5:26 in the first period, while Toffoli extended the lead at 6:43, goals separated by just over a minute that, again, put Toronto in a tight spot.
In Game 5, Montreal opened a 3-0 difference in their favor, but the Maple Leafs rowed upstream and drew 3-3, forcing the game to define themselves in overtime.
Jason Spezza TJ Brodie
But also, identically to Game 5, in Game 6, Montreal found a way to win in overtime.
Travis Dermott Paul Byron Jesperi Kotkaniemi Jack Campbell
"It was super important. It was a great feeling, especially with the fans in the stands. Your skin crawls," Kotkaniemi said after the match in which for the first time in the 2020-21 campaign at Center Bell there were approximately face-to-face fans. about 2,500 followers.
Montreal became the first team in NHL history to squander a lead of two or more goals in the third period, in back-to-back games, while facing an elimination scenario and winning every one of those games.
"Nobody lowers their arms in this group, and even despite letting go of leads in the last two games, we have struggled," Canadiens captain Shea Weber said after the game.
Montreal became the ninth team in league history, and the second in consecutive years, to win two games in a row in overtime while facing elimination. The Philadelphia Flyers accomplished the feat by winning Games 5 and 6 of the Second Round against the NY Islanders in 2020.
The Canadiens' star goalkeeper, Carey Price, seems to have in his body that chromosome that only those players chosen to raise their level of play in the Playoffs have. On Saturday night this was more than evidenced.
Price completed 41 saves, 13 of them in overtime, to improve to 9-5 through 15 appearances in which Montreal has faced an elimination scenario. His nine wins, when his team is against the wall, are the most in franchise history.
"Tonight (yesterday) I think 'Pricey' (Carey Price) played incredible. He kept us there, especially in overtime, just when they pushed, he gave us a chance and obviously that made a difference," Weber commented on of his goalkeeper.
The legendary Swede, Henrik Lundqvist (16-11 in 27 games) is the only active goalkeeper with the most wins in that elimination scenario in NHL history.
Food for thought
In the past two games, in which Toronto had the opportunity to finish the series, the numbers in games 5 and 6 of a series to win four of seven games, were very favorable for the Maple Leafs, with a record of 11-1 commanding the contest 3-1, and a 19-6 record being up 3-2.
For Montreal, the scenario, according to the coldness of the numbers, when it has faced elimination, has been adverse and almost the chronicle of an announced exit, with records of 2-18 being 3-1 down and 8-24 with a deficit of 3-2.
Now the table turns. Toronto is 12-12 for life in its seventh games of a best-of-seven series, while Montreal is 14-9 in this setting.
This will be just the second Game 7 between the Canadiens and Maple Leafs, a showcase both clubs haven't had in 57. It has definitely been worth the wait for these two sour rivals to meet again.
The National Hockey League (NHL) released the dates, times and national television coverage for the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The action begins this Saturday, August 22.
All schedules are according to the Eastern Hemisphere zone and could change.
# 1 Philadelphia vs. # 6 NY Islanders
Monday, August 24, 7 p.m. - NY Islanders at Philadelphia
Wednesday, August 26, 3 p.m. - NY Islanders at Philadelphia
Thursday, August 27, 7 p.m. - Philadelphia at NY Islanders
Saturday, August 29, 12 p.m. - Philadelphia at NY Islanders
* Monday, August 31, TBD - NY Islanders at Philadelphia
* Wednesday, September 2, TBD - Philadelphia at NY Islanders
* Thursday, September 3, TBD - NY Islanders at Philadelphia
# 2 Tampa Bay vs. # 4 Boston
Sunday, August 23, 8 p.m. - Boston at Tampa Bay
Tuesday, August 25, 7 p.m. - Boston at Tampa Bay
Wednesday, August 26, 8 p.m. - Tampa Bay at Boston
Friday, August 28, 7:30 p.m. - Tampa Bay at Boston
* Sunday, August 30, TBD - Boston at Tampa Bay
* Tuesday, September 1, TBD - Tampa Bay at Boston
* Wednesday, September 2 TBD - Boston at Tampa Bay
# 1 Vegas vs. # 5 Vancouver
Sunday, August 23, 10:30 p.m. - Vancouver at Vegas
Tuesday, August 25, 9:45 p.m. - Vancouver at Vegas
Thursday, August 27, 9:45 p.m. - Vegas at Vancouver
Saturday, August 29, 8 p.m. - Vegas at Vancouver
* Monday, August 31, TBD - Vancouver at Vegas
* Tuesday, September 1, TBD - Vegas at Vancouver
* Thursday, September 3, TBD - Vancouver at Vegas
# 2 Colorado vs. # 3 Dallas
Saturday, August 22, 8 p.m. - Dallas at Colorado
Monday, August 24, 9:45 p.m. - Dallas at Colorado
Wednesday, August 26, 10:30 p.m. - Colorado at Dallas
Friday, August 28, 10 p.m. - Colorado at Dallas
* Sunday, August 30, TBD - Dallas at Colorado
* Monday, August 31, TBD - Colorado at Dallas
* Wednesday, September 2, TBD - Dallas at Colorado
TBD: To be defined
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