NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Montreal|
(Saturday, March 21st)
Final Score: Toronto 5, Montreal 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Alexei Ponikarovsky had two goals and two
assists, as the Toronto Maple Leafs slammed the slumping Montreal Canadiens,
5-2, at the Bell Centre.
Mikhail Grabovski had a goal and three assists while Nikolai Kulemin added a
goal and two assists for the Maple Leafs, who have won three of their last
four games. Martin Gerber made 26 saves in the win.
"We know Saturday night, especially in this building, it's a good atmosphere
here," said Ponikarovsky. "It's great to get that win. We knew they always
come out hard in this building. We just had to match their speed, we had to
put the puck deep and put as many pucks on the net as we could."
Maxim Lapierre tallied both goals while Jaroslav Halak gave up all five goals
on 37 shots for the Canadiens, who have dropped five straight and seven of
"I'm clearly frustrated, we're all frustrated," said Lapierre. "We had a clear
opportunity to show we have character and we wanted to be in the playoffs. But
we didn't play the game we wanted. It's not going to come from anyone else
outside this room. We have to work hard, we have to get those points."
The losing streak has dropped Montreal down to the eighth spot in the Eastern
Conference playoff chase, and with 81 points they are just one point ahead of
Florida, which lost to Columbus on Saturday.
Kulemin got the first goal of the game at the 7:51 mark of the first as his
slap shot from the left boards got past Halak and, just 23 seconds later,
Grabovski made it a 2-0 game with his 18th goal of the season.
Ponikarovsky got his first goal of the game at the 3:09 mark of the second
when Grabovski left a drop pass at the left circle and Ponikarovsky blasted it
between the pads of Halak.
Ponikarovsky then made it 4-0 with a power-play goal at the 9:09 mark of the
second, his 21st of the season.
However, Montreal got back into the contest with two goals from Lapierre, the
first at the 12:50 mark of the second and the next one coming with 4:38 to
play in the middle stanza to make it a 4-2 game heading into the final 20
Jason Blake, though, gave Toronto some insurance just 4:21 into the third
period as his wrister from the left circle went over the glove of Halak for a
Toronto hosts Washington on Tuesday...Montreal hosts Atlanta on
Tuesday...Toronto has won three of the five games against Montreal in the
season series...Toronto went 2-for-5 on the power play while Montreal failed
to score on any of its three chances.
03/21 22:33:15 ET