Canadian hockey fans were treated to a pair of Friday night thrillers as both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks pulled out memorable victories in the most dramatic fashion.
It's worth one more savory look back in what's been a most unusual 2020 NHL playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were left for dead in Game 4, just minutes away from elimination. The night before, they blew a 3-goal lead and lost in overtime. Only this time, the Maple Leafs flipped the script and staged their own astounding comeback.
With just 3:57 left in the game, Toronto was down 3-0. They had no chance. The game seemed over and done, just like the Maple Leafs' season. Over and done.
According to Evolving Hockey, Toronto had less than a 1 percent chance of winning:
Then, a miracle happened. In what will certainly go down as the most unbelievable four-minutes of playoff hockey in recent memory, Toronto put three goals into the net in the closing minutes of regulation to force overtime. Then, to cap off a storybook finish, the Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews scored on a power play to give the Maple Leafs a 4-3 win.
The Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets will retake the ice in Toronto on Sunday. Based on what we've seen in the last two games, no lead will be considered safe.
In the nightcap, the Vancouver Canucks won an improbable scorefest, a 5-4 thriller in overtime over the Minnesota Wild that was decided just seconds into the extra period.
The Canucks and Wild battled back and forth over three action-packed periods. The Wild, facing elimination, put forth a valiant effort, holding 1-goal leads much of the game. They had the Canucks down in the 3rd period, but Vancouver was able to tie the game to force OT.
Many hockey fans expected a drawn-out extra period, but before anyone watching could blink or grab another beer from the fridge, the Canucks ended the party and slammed a quick goal into the net for the perfect exclamation point to a glorious night for Canadian hockey fans.
The Wild were eliminated from the playoffs and Vancouver, considered by some as a dark horse team in the Western Conference, will advance and be rested for their next opponent.
Oh, what a night!
Headline Photo Credit: NBC Sports