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Canucks top Leafs 3-2 in OT in return from COVID layoff

Bo Harvat scored his second goal of the game 1:19 into overtime, giving the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night in their return from a nearly four-week layoff because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Horvat also had an assist, Nils Hoglander had a goal and an assist, and Braden Holtby made 37 saves as the Canucks played their first game since March 24. At least 21 players and four members of the coaching staff tested positive for the coronavirus and Vancouver had 11 games postponed since the outbreak hit late last month.

No Canucks players remained on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list Sunday, but some of Vancouver’s regular starters remained out of the lineup, including goalie Thatcher Demko, defenseman Nate Schmidt and forwards Tyler Motte and Jake Virtanen.

Vancouver Canucks' Bo Horvat celebrates after scoring the winning goal during overtime of an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Darryl DyckThe Canadian Press via AP)

William Nylander had a goal and an assist for Toronto, while Auston Matthews added a goal in his return from a nagging wrist injury. John Tavares added a pair of assists. Jack Campbell stopped 21 shots as the Maple Leafs remained atop the all-Canadian North Division and hold a 4-2 edge in the season series with three games to go.

Toronto nearly sealed the game in the final seconds of regulation. Matthews sent a short pass to Mitch Marner in tight and the right wing sailed a shot off the crossbar and post with about 20 seconds left. The goal was waved off on the ice, but went to a video review — which confirmed there was no score on the play.

Hoglander tied it for Vancouver at 12:03 of the third when he took a crisp pass from Jalen Chatfield and scored his eighth goal of the season. Chatfield’s assist was his first NHL point.

Vancouver Canucks goalie Braden Holtby stops Toronto Maple Leafs' Wayne Simmonds during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Darryl DyckThe Canadian Press via AP)

With just under five minutes to go, it briefly appeared as though Vancouver had taken the lead when Jayce Hawryluk rang a shot off the crossbar. He celebrated as though the puck had gone in, but it was quickly waved off by the officials and the play continued.

A nasty hit 10 minutes into the second period saw both sides lose a key player when Vancouver's Alex Edler took out Zach Hyman in front of the Maple Leafs’ bench. Hyman dropped hard to the ice and stayed down for several minutes before the play ended and a trainer came to his side. Hyman went directly to the locker room and did not return.

The Leafs’ bench was angry with the play and it was reviewed, with officials determining Edler had committed a knee-on-knee hit. He was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

Toronto Maple Leafs' Wayne Simmonds (24) checks Vancouver Canucks' Quinn Hughes (43) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Darryl DyckThe Canadian Press via AP)

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Vancouver Canucks goalie Braden Holtby stops Toronto Maple Leafs' Wayne Simmonds, back right, as Vancouver's Travis Hamonic, back left, watches during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Darryl DyckThe Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews (34) scores against Vancouver Canucks goalie Braden Holtby (49) as Travis Hamonic (27) and Jalen Chatfield (63) watch during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Darryl DyckThe Canadian Press via AP)

From left to right, Vancouver Canucks' Quinn Hughes, Tanner Pearson, Bo Horvat and Nils Hoglander, of Sweden, celebrate Horvat's goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Darryl DyckThe Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Maple Leafs' Alex Galchenyuk (12) is stopped by Vancouver Canucks goalie Braden Holtby during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Darryl DyckThe Canadian Press via AP)

Vancouver Canucks' Alexander Edler, right, of Sweden, and Toronto Maple Leafs' Zach Hyman collide during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, April 18, 2021. Edler received a major penalty for kneeing and game misconduct on the play. (Darryl DyckThe Canadian Press via AP)