TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to exorcise some post-season demons tonight when they host the Montreal Canadiens in a winner-take-all Game 7 of their North Division playoff series.

Toronto has lost six post-season series in a row since beating the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the NHL playoffs in 2004.

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The underdog Habs have won two consecutive overtime games to set the stage for Game 7.

The lone previous Game 7 between the Original Six rivals came in 1964 when Dave Keon had a hat trick to lead Toronto to a 3-1 win at the Montreal Forum.

Toronto has lost seven straight contests where it could have eliminated an opponent. That includes six since 2018 with the core of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander.

The Canadiens finished 18 points behind the first-place Leafs in this year’s 56-game campaign. The winner of the series faces the Winnipeg Jets in the North Division final, which will start Wednesday.




© 2021 The Canadian Press


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