NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Montreal
(Saturday, April 10th)
Final Score: Toronto 4, Montreal 3 (OT)
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Dion Phaneuf scored the game-winning goal 2:06 into overtime to give Toronto a 4-3 win over Montreal, but the Canadiens picked up a point in the process to clinch a playoff berth.
The Canadiens lost three in a row to end the regular season but sit seventh in the Eastern Conference with 88 points. They are two points ahead of the Flyers and Rangers, who play one another Sunday afternoon for the final playoff berth. The Bruins, who beat Carolina earlier Saturday, clinched the No. 6 seed with Montreal's loss.
Christian Hanson had two goals and an assist for the Maple Leafs (30-38-14), who finished the season in the basement of the East with 74 points. Viktor Stalberg added a goal and an assist for the victors and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 34 saves.
"We were taking about how we wanted to end it before overtime and make them wait until (Sunday) to see if they get in the playoffs or not," Hanson said. "That didn't happen, but we had a lot of pride on the line and we were going to win."
Andrei Markov finished with a goal and two assists for the Canadiens (39-33-10), who got a goal apiece from Brian Gionta and Marc-Andre Bergeron. Jaroslav Halak turned aside 24-of-28 shots in defeat.
"We got the point we needed. We worked hard to get that tie," Gionta said. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out the way we wanted."
Nearing the midway point of the extra session, Hanson controlled the puck along the right boards and fed a pass into the slot. Phaneuf gathered the disc and fired a wrist shot into the back of the net, his second in as many games.
Montreal drew first blood at the 6:14 mark of the first period. Markov controlled the disc at the side of the net and slid backhander across the crease, which hit off the skate of a Toronto player and went into the net.
Hanson's first goal of the year tied things up at the 9:12 mark. Mikhail Grabovski dumped the puck into the Canadiens zone off the back boards, but Halak came out to try the poke check the disc away from Hanson, who was able to chip the disc into an open net.
Montreal scored on the power play with 3:43 remaining to go ahead 2-1. Markov's shot from the point set up a rebound at the right circle for Scott Gomez, who slid a pass into the slot. Gionta gathered the disc and fired a wrister past Giguere.
The Maple Leafs made it a 2-2 contest at the 11:55 mark of the second. Tyler Bozak carried the puck around the net before sliding a cross-ice pass to Stalberg, whose wrister beat Halak.
Bergeron put the Canadiens back in front with 1:37 left in the middle stanza. Gomez won a draw at the left circle that went to Markov at the left point. Markov slid a pass to Bergeron, whose one-timer got past Giguere.
Hanson used a backhander on a short-handed breakaway to even the score at the 3:32 mark of the third.
Giguere made 13 saves in the final frame, while Halak made nine stops to send the tilt into overtime.
Montreal and Toronto split six meetings this season...The Canadiens finished the season with a 20-16-5 mark at home...The Maple Leafs ended the year with a 12-21-8 away from home...Toronto posted its lowest point total since they finished the 1997-98 season with 69....The Maple Leafs missed the postseason for a fifth straight year, extending the longest postseason drought in franchise history...The Canadiens are heading to the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
04/10 23:58:03 ET