The first three final matches between the two teams at the Toronto Maple Leafs will have a couple in line when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.
Not only have the Maple Leafs won five in a row, they have led their opponents to one goal in the last four, including a 5–1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.
“Our team really just recognized that it was time to really dial in the details of our game offensively and defensively,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “I think there has been a real change for us.”
The Maple Leafs had two more goals on Saturday from Austin Matthews, who led the league with 38 to take a 2–1 lead on Saturday. He kept the game away from three third period goals.
“[Saturday] We were obviously not very good through two periods. “But once again in the third, with our team, the people were really good again, deciding only that we were going to take care of the game and it was going to be under our control. It was fun to see him in the third. “
The Maple Leafs (33-13-5, 71 points) have a nine-point lead over the second-placed Edmonton Oilers in the North Division.
Meanwhile, Montreal has won two consecutive matches. Both were return attempts on Saturday, including a 3–2 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators.
Cole Cofield, who was playing in his fourth game, took overtime to complete his first NHL goal by a 2–0 third period deficit by the Canadiens.
It was the second consecutive game the Canadiens have won after going down 2–0. He scored four straight goals in a 5–3 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday with a 2–0 and 3–1 lead.
“I’m really happy [Caufield], Of course, “said Canadiens coach Dominic Deutschham.” I mean, scoring my first NHL goal in overtime is special, but I’m happy for the team as well. “You know, it’s a big win. And We were flexible. We played with attitude and character, and that’s something we talked about in the last few days that we want to take forward. So the way I react is that it feels good and It was a happy ending for all. “
The fourth-placed Canadiens (23-18-9, 55 points) have strengthened their hold on the playoff spot and moved to within double digits of the third-place Winnipeg Jets. They are eight points ahead of the fifth-placed Calgary Flames.
The Canadiens played their second consecutive game without their captain defenseman Shea Weber (lower body injury).
This means that defenseman Jeff Petrie had a large workload; He logged a 24:05 team-high at the time of the game on Saturday. He scored his first goal in 23 games and was assisted on Cuffield’s goal. He has five points from the last four matches.
“It is evident, [Weber is] A big part of our team, ”said Petrie. “It’s important when a man is hurt and out of the lineup that people make the move. I’ve unfortunately experienced it with Shia before, so it’s a case of, I think, just elevating your game. , When to choose and when to play. I felt that for the last two matches I have been doing better, I have been above the game. “