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NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Toronto

(Saturday, October 8th)

Final Score: Montreal 5, Toronto 4

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Mike Ribeiro scored the winning goal with 4:27 left in the game to lift the Montreal Canadiens over the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-4, at Air Canada Centre.

Steve Begin and Niklas Sundstrom added goals for Montreal, which started a season 3-0-0 for the first time since the 1978-79 season.

Alexei Kovalev and Saku Koivu both added a pair of assists as the Canadiens went 2-for-4 on the power play.

Nik Antropov and Matthew Stajan had third-period goals for Toronto, which remained winless this season at 0-1-1.

With the game tied at 4-4, Andrei Markov fired a pass from the top of the left circle to a wide open Ribeiro, who flipped the puck into the net from the right side for the game winner.

The Canadians had tied the game at the 13:04 mark. Koivu had control of the puck in the right circle and he skated around the net and fired a shot from the left circle. Ed Belfour made the save but Begin was there to lift the rebound over Belfour for the goal.

"There are guys who used to get away with the sticks up and cross checking and putting their arms up in the face for years," said Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn. "At least here, we have guys that have some size and are mobile but we were getting beat and losing battles especially one on one. The last two goals were tip-ins and nobody was covering them. This just can't happen."

Down 3-2, Toronto scored two straight goals for a late lead. Eric Lindros carried the puck into the zone early in the third period and dropped a pass back to Stajan, who fired the puck from the left circle past Jose Theodore's glove side for a power-play goal and a tie game.

Toronto then took the lead at the 10:38 mark. Antropov chased the puck behind Montreal's net and fired it up the right boards to Lindros, who then gave the puck back to Antropov on the right side of the net. Antropov then skated in front and jammed the puck into the net.

Theodore finished the night with 16 saves, while Belfour made 20 saves in the loss.

Alexander Perezhogin got the scoring started with his power-play goal at the 8:57 mark in the second period, giving the Canadiens a 1-0 lead.

The Leafs tied the game on Alexander Steen's breakaway goal in the second period as he fired it in from right circle. It was Steen's first career goal.

Tie Domi's goal with 7:21 left in the second put Toronto ahead 2-1. It was Domi's 100th career goal.

Sundstrom tied the game at the 13:16 mark and Sheldon Souray's power-play goal with 5:10 left in the second period staked Montreal to a 3-2 lead.

"The first period, it seems we were feeling each other out. Then guys started taking penalties and it really got wide open in the second period," said Souray. "The refs are calling it tighter. You can't hold on to a stick or grab a guy. You just can't do it no more."

Game Notes

Toronto finished 4-2 against Montreal during the 2003-04 season...Koivu recorded his 400th career point with an assist in the first period...Montreal won its first three road games for the first time since the 1997-98 season...Toronto's Kyle Wellwood and Montreal's Mark Streit both recorded their first career points...Kovalev has recorded points in the Canadiens' first three games. He has four assists so far.

10/08 22:35:55 ET

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