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Canadiens @ Maple Leafs game recap: It was 4-1

An instant classic in Toronto sees Montreal get the two points.

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs that ended 6-5 in a shootout had everything. The only thing that the Saturday night classic at Scotiabank Arena was missing may have been Bob Cole.

Paul Byron scored the lone shootout goal and Carey Price made all three saves against Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares (ho hum) to lead Montreal to their first win of the season.

The third period really did have it all. The Maple Leafs actually extended their lead 5:16 into the final frame when their power play finally broke through. William Nylander put a perfectly-placed shot past Price to open up a 4-1 lead.

Just 11 seconds later, Jonathan Drouin scored his first goal of the game when he banked the puck in off of Morgan Rielly and past Michael Hutchinson.

That goal was the first of four straight goals that Montreal scored in a span of less than 10 minutes.

Just over a minute after Drouin’s goal, Brendan Gallagher made it 4-3 when he put a Shea Weber rebound past Hutchinson and the comeback was really on. The most bizarre turn of events occurred later in the period to allow the Canadiens to tie the game.

While on the power play, Jeff Petry’s shot broke the stick of Kasperi Kapanen who then threw the part he was holding at Petry. The ruling on the play was a penalty shot awarded to Petry. The Canadiens defenceman made no mistake.

It wouldn’t end there. Just over two minutes after that Phillip Danault fired home a rebound to give the Canadiens their second lead of the game, 5-4, with less than five minutes left.

The Canadiens couldn’t hold on. A bouncing puck found its way to Auston Matthews who scored his second of the game when he fired a shot past a diving Price and Weber to tie the game with 1:15 left.

That goal set up an insane overtime period with chances on both ends, and a Montreal power play. Both goaltenders stood tall with the Canadiens outshooting the Maple Leafs 9-4 in the extra period. Although Hutchinson was tested more, Price had to make several breakaway saves as Toronto took advantage of Montreal’s aggressiveness to try and end it.

Hutchinson made 37 saves while Price made 32. The score may tell one story, but it was not a bad day for the goaltenders as both played very well.

In retrospect, the opening minutes of the game were a good indicator of the kind of game. Both teams opened with scoring chances, but it was Montreal who scored the first goal of the game when Artturi Lehkonen found Max Domi heading to the net only 1:08 into the first period.

Alex Kerfoot and Matthews had chances of their own but couldn’t beat Price. Matthews had another chance and made no mistake to tie the game up at 1-1 5:57 into the game.

Kerfoot got a goal of his own before the first period ended when Trevor Moore picked the puck off of Nick Suzuki and centred the puck to the new Maple Leaf who gave Toronto a 2-1 lead.

The Canadiens got a power play late in the period, but it ended early when they were caught for having too many men on the ice.

The line of Kerfoot, Moore, and Ilya Mikheyev scored another goal when Moore scored his second goal of the season just 1:29 into the second period.


  • Neither game the Canadiens played were necessarily works of art. But they come away from games in Carolina and Toronto where they trailed 2-0 and 4-1 with three out of four points. As the Canadiens found out last year, beauty points don’t matter. Standing points do, and every one will work just fine for the Canadiens especially against good teams on the road.
  • If the heat map looks like this most nights, there will be no issues for the Montreal Canadiens. They’ll be quite happy with the way this looks.

The Canadiens will finish their season-opening road trip on Wednesday night against the Buffalo Sabres before returning home on Thursday to face the Detroit Red Wings.