Skip to Main Content
game recap

Maple Leafs defeat Canadiens on Tavares goal in OT

Scores at 2:17 to give Toronto fourth straight win

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

Tavares' game-winning goal in OT

TOR@MTL: Tavares roofs a backhand shot in OT

John Tavares powers his way to the net, receives a pass from Mitch Marner and roofs a shot to give the Maple Leafs a 4-3 overtime win

  • 01:46 •

MONTREAL -- John Tavares scored 2:17 into overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs their fourth straight win, 4-3 against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Tavares took a pass from Mitchell Marner and put a backhand over goalie Carey Price's left arm for his Toronto-leading 33rd goal.

"It just happened fast," Tavares said. "I got some good speed, so I was able to get a bit of gap on the guy defending me there. And Mitch put it in the perfect spot, so I was able to kind of already start to plan ahead before I even got it. So I know he's going to challenge hard and it's a debate whether you want to be kind of patient and try to go around him.

"I just felt I could get it up quick enough and lucky enough I was able to, and I got a lot on it, so I was happy to see it go in."


[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens highlights]


Frederik Andersen made 35 saves for the Maple Leafs (34-17-3), who won for the fifth time in six games (5-0-1). It was Toronto's sixth straight victory against Montreal, its longest winning streak against the Canadiens since it won six in a row from Dec. 6, 1950-Feb. 7, 1951.

Price's personal seven-game winning streak ended in his 600th NHL game, all for Montreal (31-18-7), which lost for the first time in four games and is 8-1-2 in its past 11. He made 28 saves.

"They've got depth, they're a pretty well-rounded team," said Price, who made 28 saves. "They use their speed and they obviously have a lot of skill up front."

Video: TOR@MTL: Price stones Kapanen, keeps game tied

The Maple Leafs killed five of six Canadiens power plays, including Tavares' double minor for high sticking at 7:58 of the first and a second straight delay of game penalty in the third period that ended at 1:28 of overtime after Nikita Zaitsev shot the puck over the glass with 32 seconds left in the third.

"Well, obviously, the penalty kill was really good," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "Our fourth line (Par Lindholm-Frederik Gauthier-Andreas Johnsson) was outstanding. They got us two of the goals, and we found a way to just hang around and hang around and ended up winning the game."

William Nylander tied the game 3-3 for the Maple Leafs at 8:35 of the third period with a wrist shot inside the left post from the right side. It was his second goal in three games after scoring once in his first 23 games.

Video: TOR@MTL: Nylander scores with sizzling wrist shot

Brendan Gallagher gave the Canadiens a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal at 7:24 of the third.

Andrew Shaw, who played for the first time since Dec. 31 after missing 15 games because of a neck injury, deflected Jeff Petry's shot from the point to give Montreal a 1-0 lead 51 seconds into the game.

Johnsson tied it 1-1 at 2:20 when he shot into an open left side after Zach Hyman's backhand on a wraparound bounced off Price's pads.

Video: TOR@MTL: Johnsson crashes net, stuffs puck home

Zaitsev scored on a shot through traffic at 4:42 to give Toronto a 2-1 lead.

Tomas Tatar tied it 2-2 at 1:13 of the second period. Price got the secondary assist for his first point of the season when Tatar's wrist shot from the left side of the high slot floated into the right corner of the net.

"That was probably as close to a [Stanley Cup] Playoff atmosphere as you're going to get without being in the playoffs," Canadiens captain Shea Weber said. "It was energizing and exciting. It was fun to play in."


They said it

"It was a tight hockey game for the most part, but it was fast and the game was played at a very high level, and you can see the competitiveness and everyone fighting for every inch out there. So it was a big two points, and we're happy to get it." -- Maple Leafs center John Tavares

Video: EA Sports Overtime Winners: Hoffman, Tavares


"We know we can beat any team in this league. Unfortunately, we came up a bit short, so that's a tough ending. That being said, a lot of good things happened tonight, and it's definitely something we can build on." -- Canadiens forward Max Domi


"It's what you play for. There's a lot of emotion in the game, and it's a lot of fun. Obviously, it's not so fun losing." -- Canadiens goalie Carey Price


Need to know

Forward Kasperi Kapanen had seven of the Maple Leafs' 32 shots on goal. ... Hyman has two goals and four assists during a four-game point streak. ... Price is the 49th goalie to play 600 games in NHL history. He is 309-214-67 with 43 shutouts. ... Domi and Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly each had two assists.


What's next

Maple Leafs: At the New York Rangers on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: At the Nashville Predators on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)

Video: Tavares, Andersen lift Maple Leafs to overtime win

View More