NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Montreal
(Saturday, January 24th)
Final Score: Toronto 4, Montreal 1
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Mats Sundin had a goal and an assist and Ed Belfour made 14 saves to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-1 victory over Montreal at the Bell Centre.
"It's like a playoff atmosphere and we always get up for these games," Sundin said. "It's the same when we're at home and there's a lot of Montreal fans."
Joe Nieuwendyk scored to snap a second-period tie and Bryan McCabe and Mikael Renberg added goals for the Leafs, who are unbeaten in their last seven trips to Montreal (4-0-3). Toronto has won its last three games.
Richard Zednik scored for the Canadiens, who have scored just one goal in losing their last two games. Jose Theodore made 21 saves in the loss.
"We still have some work to do, which is why we're a team working our way from the bottom and trying to work our way up," Canadiens coach Claude Julien explained.
The Maple Leafs scored three times in the second period to erase a one-goal deficit. Tomas Kaberle set up the first goal by intercepting a clearing pass at the Montreal blue line. He sent a pass across to McCabe, who beat Theodore five-hole with a shot from the right point at 11:20.
Nieuwendyk gave Toronto the lead just over three minutes later with his 12th goal of the season. Again, Montreal turned the puck over in its own zone and the Leafs took advantage. Nik Antropov intercepted the puck in the left circle and backhanded a pass to Nieuwendyk, who beat Theodore with a wrist shot at 14:36.
Sundin controlled the puck behind the Canadiens' net, moved into the corner and sent a pass to the slot for Renberg, who one-timed a shot past Theodore with just 16 seconds left in the middle stanza.
Montreal turned the puck over in the Leafs' zone and Sundin raced up ice on a 3-on-1 break with Matthew Stajan and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Theodore made a right shoulder save on the shot by Stajan, but Sundin poked in the rebound from the left side of the net to complete the scoring at 13:29 of the third period.
Zednik scored to give Montreal a 1-0 lead at 9:25 of the second period. Mike Ribeiro's shot from the point never reached the net, but Zednik collected the loose puck in the slot. He waited for Belfour to go down and fired the puck over the netminder.
"A lot of people who can't get into games in Toronto make the trip here. It was an exciting night," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said.
The Leafs have won three straight over Montreal...Montreal lost for just the second time in its last 10 home games (6-2-2)...Each team failed to score on two opportunities on the power play...Leafs center Robert Reichel (shoulder) and defenseman Ken Klee (abdominal strain) returned to the line-up after missing 13 and five games, respectively...The Leafs are still missing Owen Nolan (eye), Darcy Tucker (eye), Alexander Mogilny (hip surgery), Tom Fitzgerald (ankle) and Wade Belak (knee)...Montreal's Jason Ward separated his shoulder on Friday night in New Jersey and is out indefinitely...Canadiens forward Joe Juneau returned after missing one game with back spasms.
01/25 01:16:28 ET