Tavares scores OT winner as Leafs beat Canadiens

John Tavares scored at 2:17 of overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night in a matchup of teams fighting for second place in the Atlantic division.

Andreas Johnsson, Nikita Zaitsev and William Nylander also scored for the Maple Leafs, who extended their winning streak to four games. Frederik Andersen stopped 35 shots.

Andrew Shaw, Tomas Tatar and Brendan Gallagher scored for the Canadiens, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Carey Price made 28 saves and lost for the first time since Jan. 10.

With the win, Toronto remained second in the Atlantic with 71 points. Montreal is third with 69 points.

Tavares scored the winner with a backhand shot to Price’s glove side after the Maple Leafs successfully killed off a Canadiens power play to start the extra frame.

It was the first meeting between Toronto and Montreal since the season opener, which the Leafs won 3-2 in overtime.

The teams combined for three goals in 4:42 to start the game.

Shaw was back in the lineup after missing 15 games with a neck injury and wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Shaw netted his 12th of the season 51 seconds into the game, deflecting a wrist shot by Jeff Petry past Andersen.

Montreal managed to contain some of Toronto’s most explosive forwards, like Tavares and Austin Matthews, in the first period. It was the Leafs’ fourth line that made the difference.

Zach Hyman stole the puck from Shea Weber behind the net and found Johnsson with a perfect backhanded cross-crease pass at 2:20 of the first. Johnsson has scored in three straight games.

Zaitsev gave Toronto a 2-1 lead at 4:42 with a wrist shot from the point on a pass along the boards from Par Lindholm. Price was screened by Frederik Gauthier and never saw the puck.

Montreal scored the equalizer 1:13 into the second period when Tatar sent a floating shot past Andersen on the glove side.

With Matthews in the penalty box for delay of game, Gallagher gave the Canadiens a 3-2 lead after being left all alone in front of goal.

Nylander answered 71 seconds later with a wrist shot from the face-off dot while using Weber as a screen.