NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Toronto
(Saturday, November 8th)
Final Score: Toronto 6, Montreal 3
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Niklas Hagman scored twice, as the Toronto Maple Leafs rolled over the Montreal Canadiens, 6-3, in the annual Hall of Fame Game.
Nik Antropov had a goal and two assists, while Alexei Ponikarovsky, Pavel Kubina and Mikhail Grabovski each tallied a goal and assist for Toronto, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
"I'm really surprised how skilled our line is," Hagman said. "The best way to control the game is to control the puck and control the offense."
Vesa Toskala made 17 saves in the win for the Maple Leafs.
Saku Koivu, Robert Lang and Tomas Plekanec each scored once for Montreal, which has lost two straight after winning eight of nine.
Carey Price gave up all six goals on 41 shots in the loss for the Canadiens.
The teams were tied 3-3 just past the midway point of the second period, but Toronto notched three straight goals to pull away for the win.
With Toronto pressuring in the Montreal zone, Price was drawn away from the crease to stop a shot. The puck floated around the net out of any one player's control, and Canadiens defenseman Mike Komisarek skated into the crease to potentially make a save. He fell down as Antropov gave the disc a few shoves. Eventually, Antropov was able to stuff the puck past Komisarek into the net, giving Toronto a 4-3 lead with 3:33 left in the stanza.
Then, just 1:13 into the third Kubina scored on the power play, on a shallow- angle one-timer from the left side of the ice to boost the Leafs' lead to 5-3.
Montreal had a goal called off in the late stages of the third period, as Christopher Higgins' stick was too high on a tip-in.
With the Canadiens still down two goals, Ponikarovsky added a late tally to all but seal the game. On a 2-on-1 rush, he took the puck on the right side, and worked a backhand-forehand move around Price for a goal with 3:28 left, and Toronto held on from there.
Toronto defenseman Mike Van Ryn left Saturday's game after taking a big hit from Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos, early in the first period. Van Ryn was rammed into the end boards from behind by Kostopoulos and went down to the ice.
He was taken off the ice and later went to the hospital, with what the club said was a broken hand, broken nose, concussion and cut face. Kostopoulos was given a five-minute boarding major on the hit and a game misconduct on the play, which came at the 7:03 mark of the first and led to Montreal's first goal.
Hagman sent in a power-play tally at the 8:12 mark, the only goal of the first period. Grabovski, a former Canadien who was traded to Toronto during the summer, made it 2-0, Toronto, just 1:48 into the second frame.
"He played really good tonight," Hagman said of Grabovski. "You could see he wanted to show the coach on the other side what he could do."
But Montreal countered with two consecutive power-play scores -- Lang at 4:52 and Plekanec at the midway point of the second.
"As a team, we weren't playing defensively in the first (period)," Komisarek said. "We played too much in our own end and we were taking too many penalties."
Hagman put the Leafs back in front with a power-play goal at 11:39, but Koivu scored just 1:10 later. He flicked the puck from the left circle into the right upper corner of the net, over Toskala's shoulder, to make it a 3-3 contest.
The Hall of Fame Game takes place the Saturday before each year's induction ceremony -- which, this year will be held on Monday at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The inductees are Glenn Anderson and Igor Larionov, along with former Western Hockey League Commissioner Ed Chynoweth and former NHL linesman Ray Scapinello...Alex Tanguay added two assists for Montreal...Matt Stajan and Tomas Kaberle each had two helpers for Toronto...Grabovski, who has seven goals this season, ran his goal and point streaks to four games...The Leafs entered the contest having converted just one of their last 11 power-play opportunities, but went 3-for-8 on Saturday.
11/08 22:54:31 ET