Maple Leafs hold off Canadiens in Game 3, take series lead

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MONTREAL — William Nylander scored for a third straight game, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Bell Centre on Monday.

Jack Campbell made 14 of his 27 saves in the third period, and Morgan Rielly scored for Toronto, which is the No. 1 seed in the Scotia North Division and took the lead in the best-of-7 series.

Nick Suzuki scored for Montreal, the No. 4 seed. Carey Price made 27 saves, including a lunging stick save on Jason Spezza during a Maple Leafs power play in the first period.

Game 4 is here Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Teams that win Game 3 when tied 1-1 are 223-107 (67.6 percent) winning a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series, including 3-1 in the first round last season.

Nylander gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 7:18 of the second period. Alexander Kerfoot drew the puck back to him on a face-off, and Nylander’s low wrist shot as he curled toward the slot went inside the right post.

Nylander is the second Maple Leafs player in the past 17 years to have a three-game goal streak in the playoffs. Auston Matthews had a four-game goal streak in both the 2017 and 2019 playoffs. 

Suzuki tied it 1-1 with a wrist shot over Campbell’s right pad from the right circle at 13:56.

Rielly put Toronto ahead 2-1 at 16:35 when he took a return pass from Mitchell Marner and scored on a wrist shot over Price’s glove from the right face-off dot.

Cole Caufield, who made his playoff debut for the Canadiens, put a wrist shot off the crossbar at 2:19 of the first with Maple Leafs forward Alex Galchenyuk serving a double minor for high-sticking Brendan Gallagher.

Price lunged to his right and stretched out his stick at 10:25 of the first to make save on Spezza, who was left shaking his head after missing out on an open left side.

Montreal had no shots on goal while going 0-for-3 on the power play in the first period. 

Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen left at 11:54 of the first after he was hit in the head in a collision with Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman.

Toronto forward Nick Foligno was a late scratch because of a lower-body injury. Riley Nash replaced him.

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