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game recap

Kovalchuk, Canadiens rally for OT win against Campbell, Maple Leafs

Scores at 1:43 after Scandella ties game with 2:33 left in third period

by Sean Farrell / Independent Correspondent

Kovalchuk's overtime winner

TOR@MTL: Kovalchuk cleans up rebound for OT winner

Ilya Kovalchuk picks up the Nick Suzuki rebound and sends a wrist shot past Jack Campbell to give the Canadiens a 2-1 overtime victory

  • 00:37 •

MONTREAL -- Ilya Kovalchuk scored at 1:43 of overtime, and the Montreal Canadiens rallied for a 2-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Kovalchuk scored on a rebound after Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell (28 saves) made the initial save on Nick Suzuki's backhand shot.

Marco Scandella tied the game with 2:33 left in the third period, and Carey Price made 22 saves for Montreal (27-23-7), which has won three in a row. The Canadiens are 9-3-0 since going eight straight without a win (0-7-1).

"I think right now, of course we've got to rely on ourselves, but we've got to be aware of what's going on around the League because every game, every team, it's so close right now," Kovalchuk said. "And we just believe in ourselves. We battled through some injuries, some flu and everything, and I think it's just going to make us stronger."


[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens highlights]


Campbell made 26 saves in his Maple Leafs debut Friday, a 5-4 overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks, two days after he and forward Kyle Clifford were acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings.

He lost his shutout Saturday when Scandella scored on a slap shot from the left point to tie it 1-1.

"I'm just definitely not happy, giving that one up, you know, to give them life again and blow that lead and in the third," Campbell said. "I just know my ability and I'm confident with my team in front of me, and they battled all night, so one more save and we get two points."

Video: TOR@MTL: Scandella hammers home slap shot

It was Scandella's fourth goal of the season, his first in 16 games with Montreal since he was acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 2.

"It took a while, but it was good timing," Scandella said.

John Tavares gave Toronto (29-19-8) a 1-0 lead when he extended his goal streak to four games at 1:06 of the third period. It was the Maple Leafs' only shot of the period while Montreal had 16 against Campbell, who started back-to-back games in the NHL for the first time.

"Obviously we got the lead, you know they came with a lot of momentum and desperation," Tavares said. "It's human nature to be a little bit safer in those certain circumstances, but certainly we've got to find a way to get on their half of the ice more and generate some more offense and push to increase our lead and continue to be smart with the puck and defensively."

Video: TOR@MTL: Tavares wires wrist shot past Price

Zach Hyman drove down the right side and passed to Alexander Kerfoot to set up Tavares' goal. The Maple Leafs center cut across the top of the slot to receive a pass from Kerfoot and scored on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle.

"Everyone goes through back-to-backs and playing tired and stuff like that," Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin said. "We've got to bear down and get it done."


They said it

"I thought we played a good game and a hard game. I thought we competed. What happens in the third period today is a lot different than what happens [Friday]. [Friday] we're not engaged, we're not competitive or physical enough and on our heels. This game here, I thought we defended very well, defended very hard and didn't give up the middle of the ice much at all. We just were very poor with the puck. When you have a team that's pushing, they have the energy of the crowd and you just continuously give them the puck, you're going to be on your heels a lot." -- Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe

"The last two years, almost every practice, we were staying after practice doing shootouts, a lot of shots, one-timers, so he knew me pretty well. I think he played unbelievable. That's a great pick up by the Leafs. He's one of the hardest working guys I've ever seen and he's a great competitor, so I wish him all the best." -- Canadiens forward Ilya Kovalchuk on Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell, his former teammate with the Los Angeles Kings

Video: EA Sports Overtime Winner: Kovalchuk wins it for Habs


Need to know

Tavares has seven points (five goals, two assists) during his four-game streak. … Maple Leafs forward William Nylander missed his second straight game because of an illness. … . It was Kovalchuk's 17th overtime goal, which moved him into third on the NHL all-time list behind Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (23) and Jaromir Jagr (19). … Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin had one shot and three hits in 11:49 of ice time in his first game since Nov. 15; he missed 37 games after having wrist surgery. Montreal is 12-5-3 this season with Drouin and 15-18-4 without him.


What's next

Maple Leafs: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TSN4, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday (7 p.m. ET; TSN2, RDS, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Video: Kovalchuk's OT goal lifts Canadiens past Maple Leafs

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