Canadiens keep season alive with desperate win in Game 5 over Maple Leafs –

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Canadiens keep season alive with desperate win in Game 5 over Maple Leafs – fr


It was the symphony of the situation, the most fitting song, with lyrics that perfectly encapsulated what was at stake with the puck set to fall in the fourth period of that playoff game.
Comme Van Halen At present booming over the speakers at the Scotiabank arena, Kyle Dubas’ Toronto Maple Leafs were one kick out to knock the Montreal Canadiens out of the Stanley Cup playoffs. As the chorus unfolded, the GM started nodding to the beat of the drum line, and he seemed to be singing under his mask.

“Right now. Hey! It’s your next day. Right now. Come on, that’s all.

The Maple Leafs hadn’t qualified for the second round of the playoffs since 2004, and their best chance to do so was ahead of them.

On the ice, Brendan Gallagher and his Canadiens teammates simply listened to the music. The words echoed the message that their coach, Dominique Ducharme, had just delivered in their locker room.

“I just said that these times here are times for the players,” Duchame explained later.

His team had just taken a 3-0 lead and made it a one-shot game for his season, and he emphasized what the looming opportunity was instead of the missed opportunity.

“You looked around the room,” said Canadiens goalie Carey Price, “and everyone knew what was at stake.”

The game resumed, a 29-second shift took place on the ice, then Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki and Tyler Toffoli took over for Montreal.

“Right now. Hey! It’s your next day. Right now. Come on, that’s all.

The Maple Leafs, who led 3-1 in that series, had control of the game 150 feet from their own net. Alex Galchenyuk was in possession of the puck. The former Canadian, who scored three points in Tuesday’s fourth game win and established the play that saw Jake Muzzin tie this one 3-3 in the 12th minute of the third period, forced him to cross a lane that Caufield was filling.

Caufield and Suzuki, the Canadiens’ most talented offensive players, got off to a 2-0 on their center side, with a chance to extend the streak and send it back to Montreal, where 2,500 of their fans would have the opportunity. be present at the Bell Center for the first time since March 10, 2020 if they have logged in to a goal.

“Right now. Hey! It’s your next day. Right now. Come on, that’s all.

They crossed the offensive blue line with Caufield passing to Suzuki. Suzuki sent him back to Caufield, and Caufield hit him in the blink of an eye. Fifty-nine seconds into the start of overtime, staring death in the face, Suzuki delivered one final chest compression this season for the Canadiens, tearing the puck in the back of the net with authority.

“We have a ton of leaders – especially who I admire – and we had a reunion yesterday and guys like Corey (Perry) and (Eric Staal) Staalsy stood up and said, ‘These playoff opportunities don’t are not. come often, so you have to make the most of it, ”said Suzuki.

If you’re not making the most of a 2-on-0 in overtime, you’ve grabbed the best opportunity you’ve ever had in the playoffs, but Suzuki, 21, and Caufield, 20, kept their cool.

“Like I said, we had a ton of leaders – (Shea Weber) Weby, (Price) – that kept us calm, and that translated into OT. “

It was Perry and Staal, two members of the Triple Gold Club, who helped wake up this attack from the dormant Canadians – almost dead. Staal with steady play in the neutral zone, and Perry with a flywheel failure hit Rasmus Sandin who rocked the puck for Joel Armia to score Montreal’s first goal since the second period of Game 3. The shot in the top half of the net came in at 5:13 of the first period, just three minutes and five seconds before Armia picked up the puck in a crazy scrum past Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell and sent it into the net for the score at 2-0.

The Canadians rounded off that first period on goals, shots, hits and face-offs, with confidence restored and a sense of urgency thrilling throughout their hall.

“Right now. Hey! It’s your next day. Right now. Come on, that’s all.

They prepared for the second period, which had put them on the brink of death after four previous terrible ones. With the Maple Leafs turning the Canadiens through every middle frame – holding an 8-1 lead in goals, a 108-63 advantage in attempting shots and a 2.5-1 lead in time in the game. offensive zone to generate twice the chances of scoring – that was going to be the ultimate test.

“We talked about it a lot,” said Ducharme.

And then the Canadians adjusted. Gone are the knockdowns in the zone, the passes from D to D that allowed the Maple Leafs to corner the Canadiens behind their goal line, the hesitations that froze their own forwards in transition and allowed the Maple Leafs to regroup in the neutral zone, and suddenly the pucks started coming out and heading towards Campbell’s net.

“Small games make a big difference in these situations,” said Ducharme. “Making those little pieces and stacking them up leads to big pieces.”

Small games: a forward check from Josh Anderson, a quick read and a reaction from Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

Big play: A second shot to a loose puck in front of Campbell that led to the goal for Kotkaniemi to give the Canadiens a 3-0 lead in the fifth minute of the second period.

The Maple Leafs had to push back.

“Right now. Hey! It’s your next day. Right now. Come on, that’s all.

Less than two minutes after Kotkaniemi’s goal, Zach Hyman had just enough of a loose puck in front of Price to get his team into the game.

The boys in blue had no interest in returning to Montreal, and they clearly indicated a 16-5 advantage in the third and two goals from Muzzin to tie.

He shot one to four sets of legs to beat Price, who had turned down so many quality chances at this point in the game. And then he flipped Galchenyuk’s wrist back to bring the Canadiens back an inch from submission.

But the Canadians managed to pull themselves together. They had found a certain confidence in the way they had played – in their attention to detail, in their assertion of their own game, and in the way their leaders were up to the occasion.

Everyone had to be better. From Jon Merrill, who played a minimum of 9:18 to Phillip Danault, who struggled from Game 2 to Game 4 but made the night extremely difficult for Toronto’s top players in Game 5.

“I thought that was what I was born for, to be in these great times,” said Danault after pulling out 66% of his faceoffs and doing everything possible to keep Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Hyman in check. its 7:07 pm on the ice.

“That’s what I work hard for every summer,” Danault continued. “All year round, you fight with your life on the ice, and you put everything (on the line).”

He also said the Canadiens could play better and that he was confident they would with the return of this series to Montreal.

“Obviously you want to recreate those moments, so we have another chance to do the next game,” Danault said.

They will play to the music of their fans during this reunion which lasted more than a year. A little Van Halen for the recall could also be in order.

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