Carey Price put the finishing touches on the Canadiens’ historic comeback, with a performance of 30 saves. William Nylander Deprived him of a shutout by making 3-1 with 1:36 remaining in the last twenty.
“It’s our best team effort this season,” Price replied unhesitatingly when asked if he felt he was better than he is now.
The star goaltender is clearly not satisfied, which is good news for the team and not so good for their next opponents, the Winnipeg Jets.
“Carey was very solid,” praised interim coach Dominique Ducharme, giving him the title of MVP of the series. “As a group, we have shown a lot of resilience and character. We made some big plays in the good times. It was our best game of the series. We deserved to earn it. “
Ducharme mentioned that we would give ourselves time to savor the feat, but not for long. The Canadians headed immediately to Winnipeg, where the Jets await them for the start of the second round series on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TVAS, CBC, SN, NBCSN).
To return to the match, Brendan Gallagher, with his first of the series this year, and Corey Perry took care of the attack in the second half against Jack Campbell (20 stops, for the evening). Tyler Toffoli drove the final nail into an empty net, 2:38 from the end.
This is only the third time the Canadiens have won a series they have trailed 1-3. They last performed at the Washington Capitals in 2010. The first time it was against the Boston Bruins in 2004.
On the other side of the eye, the Maple Leafs suffered the affront of losing a series they led 3-1 for the second time in their history. The Detroit Red Wings are the only others who inflicted torture on them in 1987.
Worse, in the presence of 550 healthcare workers who wanted to be rewarded, the champions of the North section in the regular season were unable to take away the honors of a first-round series for the sixth time in a row. They have raised their record to 0-8 since 2013 in the meetings that could have ended a series.
Their two big stars on the attack, Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner, have been held in respect, or almost, since Game 2. It will be a long offseason in Toronto.
“The Canadians did a very good job neutralizing us in the neutral zone and at their blue line,” said coach Sheldon Keefe. They waited for their opportunities, and they seized them. We haven’t created enough scoring chances. It was obviously their game plan and it worked for them. ”
The importance of the first goal is increased tenfold in a seventh game. We shouldn’t be surprised to see the teams playing cautiously at the start of the game.
After a sluggish first twenty, but during which coach Ducharme was able to distribute the playing time of the six defenders, the Canadians obtained this much desired first goal. They even went to get the second. It was two goals ahead that they started the third period, but outnumbered.
Video: Canadians make an appointment with the Jets
At 3:02, Gallagher surprised Campbell with a low wrist shot, which passed between the pads. Gallagher was able to come in from the right flank after Eric Staal lost the disc to Marner entering the zone.
“By scoring the first ones, we had the feeling that the shoulders of the Maple Leafs players fell a little to them,” said Ducharme.
“The worst goal”
Campbell blamed himself for giving in to Gallagher.
“This is possibly the worst goal I have allowed in my entire career. It is unacceptable, ”launched the American guard, suppressing tears.
The Maple Leafs tried to increase the pace by invading enemy territory. But the penalty that took Pierre Engvall, the premiere of the evening at 2:44 pm, came to cool their ardor.
The CH quickly seized its chance. Perry deflected the shot from Nick Suzuki, at 15:25.
The visitors completed their first assignment of the last twenty, running out of time during the penalty of Joel Armia. Price closed the door in front Zach Hyman at short distance.
Back in numerical equality, they did not retreat excessively in defense. They did, however, give another opportunity in a massive attack with less than nine minutes to go. Price stood in front of Hyman and Nylander. There was nothing to be done, the Maple Leafs had to do it. Nylander’s goal came far too late.