The Montreal Canadiens celebrated the return of fans to Bell Centre on Saturday with a 3-2 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs to force a Game 7 back in Toronto.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi, a healthy scratch in Game 1, played the hero with his third goal of the series.

Scoreless through 40 minutes, the Canadiens opened the scoring on the power play just over five minutes into the third period thanks to Corey Perry.

Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe apparently didn’t fear the Habs’ power play too much — Perry’s goal was their first with the man-advantage in the series after an 0-for-15 start — and issued a challenge for goalie interference. The goal was confirmed, and then Mitch Marner shot the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty, giving Montreal a lengthy 5-on-3 power play.

With the two-man advantage, Tyler Toffoli, the Habs’ leading goal scorer in the regular season, finally got his first of the series.

With just over eight minutes remaining, Jason Spezza got the Leafs on the board, scoring his third goal off the series with a deflection off Jeff Petry’s stick and past Carey Price.

Then with just over three minutes remaining, T.J. Brodie tied things up with a shot that also deflected in off Petry.

The Leafs dominated the play for most of overtime, finishing the extra frame with a 13-2 edge in shots, but Price came up big for the Habs until Kotkaniemi could win it.

Price finished with 41 saves on the night.

Game 7 will go at 7 pm ET at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Monday. The winner will advance to face the Winnipeg Jets in the second round.

More to come…


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