Dominant Matthews scores three points as Maple Leafs tie – fr

Dominant Matthews scores three points as Maple Leafs tie – fr

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We have a series.

And the Maple Leafs won one for their injured captain.

As John Tavares recovered at home after sustaining a concussion and knee injury in Game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens, the Leafs rebounded significantly on Saturday night.

Auston Matthews had one goal and two assists at the Scotiabank Arena as the Leafs beat the Canadiens 5-1, tying the best of seven 1-1.

There is no timeline for the return of Tavares, who was injured when he was punched by Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot and then accidentally hit in the head by Corey Perry’s knee.

“I think (the win) means a lot, not just to the guys in the locker room, but to John himself,” Matthews said. “He’s such a part of this team and he’s our leader.

“When something really scary and serious happens like it did the other night, I think the response from the band has been amazing. It was a great victory.
The team’s focus was the basis for a solid effort by the Leafs, who scored two power play goals in a game for the first time since March 3.


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Matthews led the way, with coach Sheldon Keefe calling his superstar center’s performance “very complete.” In addition to his three points and excellent defensive play, Matthews has won 16 of 20 faceoffs.

Canadiens goalie Carey Price, the difference in Game 1 with 35 saves, was not the same in Game 2, while Jack Campbell made 22 saves for Toronto.

The first round series travels to Montreal for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Tuesday.

The Leafs had lost their previous nine playoff games to the Canadiens. The most recent victory came on May 2, 1967 – the night they won their last Stanley Cup.

“We had a really engaged hockey team,” Keefe said, “throughout our roster.

William Nylander scored on a power play in the third, ripping a shot into an open net after Matthews hit the post. Alex Kerfoot scored from an empty goal after the Canadiens ousted Price with more than six minutes left in regulation time.

Toronto scored two goals in the second period to take a 3-1 lead.
Keefe’s message to Matthews was just to stick with it when Matthews made eight shots on goal in the opener and didn’t score.

After lighting up the North Division with 41 goals in the regular season, Matthews got his first of the playoffs at 5:15 a.m. to break a 1-1 draw.

He handed the puck to Justin Holl, who placed a shot on Price. Holl took something off the shot, appearing to anticipate a rebound would find its way straight to Matthews, who broke at the net. Sure enough, Price kicked Matthews the puck and the puck was immediately behind the goalie.


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The goal was the winner, this after Matthews led the NHL with 12 game-winning games during the regular season.

The Leafs went on to get a three-play power streak and scored on the third. Defender Rasmus Sandin hit a shot past Price on a clock on a signal from Mitch Marner at 1:20 pm.

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Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme issued a challenge, pleading for the interference of the goalkeeper. It was a desperate take, as the only Leaf that could have bothered Price was Joe Thornton, and it was with minimal stick work.
The objective remained after a long examination.

“That’s big,” Keefe said of the two power play goals on six occasions. “We can preach the process as much as we want and show them the number of good looks. I was very happy to see us rewarded. These guys needed it and they deserve it.

With Tavares out, Keefe moved Nick Foligno to the middle on the second row and brought Alex Galchenyuk out of the press box to play on the left side down the row.

Kerfoot crossed the third row, taking the place of a Riley Nash on the bench, and Pierre Engvall was inserted on the row.

After the Canadiens took a 1-0 lead on a Jesperi Kotkaniemi goal at 7:57 of the first period, Jason Spezza tied the game. After a pre-check from Zach Bogosian, a quick shot from Spezza, who was rushing off the bench, beat Price on the short side.

In the morning, Keefe said that a good aspect of the playoffs is that a team has the opportunity to respond after a loss. With Tavares in the lead, the Leafs got all the marks for their answer.


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“(Friday) was a really good opportunity for us to regroup and get past that, especially after being made comfortable that all things considered, John was fine,” Keefe said. “Thanks to John himself. His leadership of our team, despite his situation, did not stop. He took it upon himself to send messages to the team to reassure the team.

“It really helped put our guys in the right headroom. We miss him a lot on the ice, in the hall.

“The guys have refocused. You win for him, you win for all the guys who don’t have the game, and you win for the guy next to you in the room and on the bench.

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