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NHL Playoff Buzzer: Maple Leafs build on series lead, Hurricanes win in OT

Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens - Game Four

MONTREAL, QC - MAY 25: Goaltender Jack Campbell #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs blocks attempt to score by Phillip Danault #24 of the Montreal Canadiens in Game Four of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre on May 25, 2021 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Game 4: Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 0

After the shock of Game 1, the Maple Leafs have settled in and performed as expected. On Tuesday night, it was goalie Jack Campbell stepping up and shutting down the Canadiens. Alex Galchenyuk also had three points, while Jason Spezza had a goal and two assists. Toronto now leads the series, 3-1, heading back home to Toronto for Game 5.

Game 5: Hurricanes 3, Predators 2 (OT)

Another day, another Hurricanes and Predators playoff game going into overtime. This time, the result was a bit different, and a lot shorter. Carolina needed just 2:03 for captain Jordan Staal to bat the puck out of the air in front of and past Predators goalie Juuse Saros, and take a 3-2 series lead heading back to Nashville for Game 6.

Three Stars for Tuesday

1. Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs

The young Maple Leafs goalie has surrendered just four goals in four games against the Canadiens, and backstopped Toronto to a 4-0 Game 4 win. The Leafs lead the series 3-1, and Campbell has been a huge part of that.

On Tuesday, he stopped all 32 shots he faced from the Habs. He has a .964 save percentage through the four contests and hasn’t allowed more than two goals in any game. Tuesday night was his first playoff shutout.

2. Martin Necas, Carolina Hurricanes

If Martin Necas had to do everything himself to get the Hurricanes back into the series lead, he seemed determined to do that. He scored the only two Carolina goals of regulation, including tying things up with 12:55 gone in the third. That goal forced overtime, which the Hurricanes eventually won.

They were both Necas’ first two goals of the postseason and they couldn’t have come at a better time, setting the stage for Jordan Staal’s overtime heroics.

3.Yakov Trenin, Nashville Predators

The 24-year-old had a breakout playoff performance with two tallies in the Preds Game 5 overtime loss to the Hurricanes.

The second-year forward scored his first two postseason goals, the only two Predators goals of the game, in a contest that eventually went to overtime. That wasn’t enough for the Preds to win, but still a great performance.

Highlights from Tuesday

* Jason Spezza went top-shelf to beat Carey Price and put the Leafs ahead 2-0 in the second period of their 4-0 win.

* Trenin beat two Hurricanes defenders in one of his goals from his two-score performance.

Tuesday night stats

* Joe Thornton’s goal to make it 3-0 for the Maple Leafs made him (41 years, 327 days) the oldest player to tally a playoff point in Leafs history. His goal came right after 37-year-old Jason Spezza scored.

* Campbell became the first Maple Leafs goalie to shut out the Canadiens in the postseason since Johnny Bower in Game 2 of the 1967 Stanley Cup Finals.

* Staal’s overtime winner was the second in his postseason career; he also did it in Game 1 of the 2019 Second Round, a series the Hurricanes went on to win.

Wednesday’s NHL Playoff Schedule

Game 6: Penguins at Islanders (NYI leads 3-2), 6:30 p.m. ET - NBCSN (livestream)
Game 6: Panthers at Lightning (TB leads 3-2), 8 p.m. ET - CNBC (livestream)
Game 6: Golden Knights at Wild (VGK leads 3-2), 9 p.m. ET - NBCSN (livestream)


Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.