Knies scores in OT, Leafs beat Bruins 2-1 to stay alive

Matthew Knies scored at 2:26 of overtime as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Tuesday to avoid elimination in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series.

The rookie winger scored after captain John Tavares drove the puck hard to the net in overtime to give the Leafs life.

Jake McCabe scored the other goal for Toronto. Joseph Woll, who started ahead of Llya Samsonov, saved 28 times.

Game 6 begins Thursday in Toronto. Game 7, if necessary, would return to TD Garden on Saturday.

Trent Frederic responded for Boston, which still leads the best-of-seven series 3-2, but will still have memories of last spring’s blown 3-1 lead against the Florida Panthers in the first round fresh in their minds.

Jeremy Swayman stopped 31 shots.

The Leafs were without star center Auston Matthews after an illness forced him to leave the second intermission of Toronto’s 3-1 loss at home in Game 4. The 26-year-old sharpshooter, who led the NHL with 69 goals in the regular season, made a cameo in Tuesday’s optional morning skate, but was unable to suit up alongside his teammates as the group faced elimination.

Woll made his playoff debut last season in Toronto’s second-round loss to Florida with Samsonov injured. He played a clean third period Saturday that pushed the Leafs over the edge after they took his teammate out of the crease.

Toronto, which rallied from 3-1 deficits against Boston in 2013 and 2018 before losing in seven games, opened the scoring at 5:33 of the first period inside a nervous TD Garden.

Max Domi won a faceoff after a cherry-pick and Mitch Marner returned a puck to McCabe for him to get his first of the series off a screen.

Woll had little to do at the other end with shots at 7-1 until a strong rebound brought the Bruins back even. Leafs defenseman Simon Benoit’s attempted clearance behind the net hit Boston forward Pat Maroon and bounced in front of Frederic for him to bury his third at 13:54.

The visitors’ baffling power play (1 for 14 in the series that began Tuesday) had a chance a minute later but couldn’t create much in a period Toronto still led 12-2 on the shot clock.

The Leafs’ penalty kill did its job early in the second before William Nylander, who missed the first three games with an undisclosed injury, fired a shot off the crossbar outside the box.

Woll made a good save on Morgan Geekie and Domi blocked a shot that deflected off Swayman’s goal.

Toronto came close late in the period, but Boston held the fort before a scrum that included Bruins captain Brad Marchand chasing Marner led to a Leafs power play with 1:38 left to start the period. third.

But Toronto couldn’t do anything with the new ice sheet as they fell to 1 for 17 with the man advantage.

Marchand then had a great chance after sitting in the box for a long time, but his shot went wide. The Bruins forward and Pontus Holmberg received compensatory minors and Boston’s Charlie Coyle rattled Woll’s right post on a shot with the teams playing 4-on-4.

The Toronto goalie then robbed Frederic with 7:27 left before Swayman stopped Tyler Bertuzzi on a 2-on-1 with Domi.


The Bruins made two lineup changes, with defenseman Matt Grzelcyk replacing Kevin Shattenkirk and former Leafs prospect Justin Brazeau taking John Beecher’s place.

Toronto blueliner Timothy Liljegren returned to the fold in place of TJ Brodie, while Connor Dewar returned with Matthews out.

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