Pitlick plays the hero as the Canadiens rally to beat the Maple Leafs 3-2 in OT
MONTREAL — After coming from a two-goal deficit in the second half, Rem Pitlick scored a 2-14 goal in overtime to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Josh Anderson and Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored for Montreal (20-24-3) as the team celebrated its 20th win of the NHL season.
In the seventh consecutive game, Samuel Montembeault made 36 saves. The Habs also sacrificed themselves for the keeper, blocking 23 shots.
Mark Giordano and Calle Jarnkrok scored for Toronto. Ilya Samsonov made 28 saves.
Toronto (28-11-8) started strong with 15 shots in the opener. The Leafs scored the first 53 seconds of the game when William Nylander sent a drop back pass into the slot for Giordano, who beat Montembeault under the blocker.
The Leafs took a two-goal lead thanks to a speed boost from Mitch Marner. His shot was blocked but Conor Timmins recovered the loose puck and found a wide open Jarnkrok to knock out his 10th of the campaign.
Montreal got back into the game in the second period with two goals. At 1:46 of the second period, Nick Suzuki handed the puck off to Anderson, who scored from the left faceoff circle.
Suzuki was inches from tying the game with a lob from the crease, but Auston Matthews cleared the puck clear of the goal line.
Harvey-Pinard scored his first goal of the season and eventually equalized by crossing on a Samsonov rebound and finding the net at 1:35 of the second period.
With 2:07 left in regulation, Nylander was called for a high-stick, giving Montreal a 4-on-3 power play for 1:01. Toronto successfully killed the penalty and the game went into overtime.
Pitlick scored the game-winning goal by charging up the boards and beating a wrist shot past Samsonov to seal the victory.
The Canadiens had another injury to report before Saturday’s game. Forward Cole Caufield will undergo shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season.
Montreal called up forward Alex Belzile from AHL affiliate Laval Rocket to fill Caufield’s roster spot. The winger recorded an assist in Saturday’s game.
The Canadiens host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.
The Maple Leafs return to Toronto on Monday to play the New York Islanders.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 21, 2023.