NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Toronto
(Saturday, October 11th)
Final Score: Montreal 6, Toronto 1
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Alex Tanguay scored a goal and notched three assists and Sergei Kostitsyn scored twice in the second period to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
Jaroslav Halak collected 24 saves for Montreal, while Saku Koivu added three helpers in the victory. Guillaume Latendresse registered a goal and two assists.
Jason Blake scored the lone goal for Toronto, which opened its regular season with a 3-2 victory on the road over the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Vesa Toskala let up all six goals on 23 shots before being replaced by veteran Curtis Joseph. The 40-year-old Joseph did not allow a goal while facing 11 shots.
The Canadiens' 100th year of existence didn't get off to such a great start, as the club was defeated by the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1, in a shootout on Friday. However, Montreal scored the first five goals of the contest to take a commanding lead.
Defenseman Roman Hamrlik and sniper Alex Kovalev registered first period goals one minute, 39 seconds apart in the first period. Hamrlik put a wrist shot past goaltender Vesa Toskala eleven minutes in, while Kovalev lit the lamp on a warp-around at 12:39.
The Canadiens then collected three straight power-play goals in the first 8:18 of the second frame. Kostitsyn ripped shot past Toskala 2:50 in, and then was credited along with Latendresse on Tanguay's goal at 4:15 in the period.
"Our power play has a lot to do with speed," said Tanguay. "We have to keep moving the puck and get it to Markov and let him do his thing."
Kostitsyn capped the burst as Tanguay and Andrei Markov assisted on the the left winger's second goal of the contest at the 8:18 mark.
Blake's backhander on the power play beat Halak to get Toronto on the scoreboard with 8:58 remaining in the second.
Toronto's momentum quickly disappeared when Koivu and Tanguay assisted on a tally by Latendresse just 22 seconds after Blake hit the net.
Halak was not challenged for the remainder of the contest.
"I think if we came out there and if we scored on the couple of great chances we had early we might have been OK," said Toronto head coach Ron Wilson.
Montreal was 3-for-7 on the power play, while Toronto was 1-for-3...Alexei Ponikarovsky and Mike Van Ryn assisted on Blake's goal for the Maple Leafs...It was Wilson's home debut as Maple Leafs head coach.
10/11 22:28:00 ET