Sebastian Aho scored his second goal of the game 1:16 into overtime to send the Carolina Hurricanes to the second round with a 4-3 comeback victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night in Game 6.
The Hurricanes will play defending champion Tampa Bay, the No. 3 seed in the Central Division.
Carolina won its fourth straight game with a chance to end a series. The Hurricanes are 12-10 in franchise history in clinching games, and they improved to 5-2 on the road in Game 6 with a 3-2 lead.
Aho stunned the largest crowd to see an NHL game this year when he scored so quickly after overtime started for the fourth straight game in this series. Defenseman Jacob Slavin shot the puck, and Aho tipped it in.
Brock McGinn and Dougie Hamilton each had a goal and an assist apiece for Carolina. The Hurricanes now have won four straight games with a chance to clinch a series.
Nashville led 3-1 in the second period and 3-2 in the third when the Hurricanes spent much of the period in front of Nashville goalie Juuse Saros.
Hamilton tied it with 6:01 left in regulation after Saros stopped the Canes’ first 13 shots in the period. He scored from the right edge off a pass from Jaccob Slavinn off a faceoff.
CANADIENS 4, MAPLE LEAF 3, OT
TORONTO — Nick Suzuki scored 59 seconds into overtime and Montreal beat Toronto, rebounding after blowing a three-goal lead to force Game 6 in the Original Six matchup.
Cole Caufield intercepted Alex Galchenyuk’s pass in Montreal’s zone and moved in with Suzuki on a 2-on-0. Suzuki made a pass to Caufield after crossing into Toronto’s zone, got the puck back from his rookie teammate and beat Jack Campbell to the blocker side.
Joel Armia scored twice, Jesperi Kotkaniemi added a goal and Carey Price made 32 saves to help Montreal cut Toronto’s series lead to 3-2.
Jake Muzzin scored twice for Toronto. Zach Hyman had a goal and Campbell stopped 26 shots.
The Quebec government will allow 2,500 fans into the Bell Centre on Saturday for Game 6, the first NHL crowd in Canada since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
The Winnipeg Jets await the winner following their sweep of Edmonton in the North Division’s other first-round series.