Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored the game-winning goal in overtime for the Montreal Canadiens to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 in Game 6 on Saturday, thrilling fans in their return to Bell Centre and forcing a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series.

The fourth-seeded Canadiens have won consecutive games since falling behind 3-1 against the top-seeded Maple Leafs. Game 7 will be Monday in Toronto.

With 2,500 fans present — the first fan attendance at any NHL game in Canada since March 2020 — the Canadiens scored two third-period, power-play goals just 77 seconds apart. Corey Perry broke a scoreless tie with 5:26 gone in the third period. Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe challenged for goaltender interference, Toronto was penalized for failed challenge and 19 seconds later, Mitch Marner flipped the puck out of play for delay of game. That led to a 5-on-3 advantage for Montreal, and Tyler Toffoli cashed in to push the lead to 2-0.

Jason Spezza scored with 8:25 to play to get the Maple Leafs within one, then T.J. Brodie added the tying goal via a deflection of a Pierre Engvall shot with 3:11 left in regulation.

The winner of the series will face the third-seeded Winnipeg Jets, who swept the Edmonton Oilers in the first round.

This story will be updated.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here