Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs NHL North Division Semifinals Game 5 Preview
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The Toronto Maple Leafs can secure their best first-round playoff streak Thursday night with a Game 5 win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.
After the teams split the first two games in Toronto, the Maple Leafs took the next two games in Montreal to take a 3-1 series lead.
Montreal was outscored 12-4 in the series while posting a 0-for-13 record on the power play. Toronto dominated the second period with an 8-1 goal advantage.
Former Canadiens player Alex Galchenyuk scored a goal and two assists for Toronto on Tuesday. He did not play in Game 1, but has been on the roster since John Tavares' injuries (concussion, knee) in Game 1 of the series.
William Nylander was the scorer for the Maple Leafs, with one goal in each of the four games.
Nylander is the third player in franchise history to score at least one goal in four consecutive games to open the playoffs: Gordie Drillon (five games, 1939) and Wendel Clark (four games, 1986). Three players in Maple Leafs history have had the longest scoring streaks at any point in the playoffs. These were Drillon, Sid Smith (five games, 1951) and Dave Andreychuk (five games, 1993).
Maple Leafs left winger Nick Foligno (lower body injury) missed his second straight game Tuesday.
The Maple Leafs, who won back-to-back playoff games in Montreal for the first time since the 1967 Stanley Cup final, have failed to advance to the second round since 2004.
Toronto is 11-1 leading a 3-1 series. This is the first time Toronto has held a 3-1 lead in a series since 1987.
If the Canadiens call Game 6, it will be played in Montreal on Saturday and the Quebec government will allow 2,500 fans to enter the Bell Center. It would be the first NHL crowd in Canada since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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