NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Montreal
(Saturday, November 3rd)
Final Score: Toronto 3, Montreal 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Matt Stajan's goal with 1:34 left in regulation lifted Toronto past Montreal, 3-2, at the Bell Centre.
Tomas Kaberle and Mats Sundin also scored for the Maple Leafs, who halted a two-game losing streak and have now won three of five.
Alexei Ponikarovsky added two assists and Vesa Toskala made 32 stops for the win.
Mike Komisarek and Chris Higgins tallied for the Canadiens, who had won five of their last six games. Cristobal Huet allowed three goals on 31 shots in defeat.
Stajan took a loose puck from his own blue line, cruised down the right wing, and uncorked a slapper from the bottom of the right circle which slipped between Huet's arm and body.
"I was thinking, going down the ice, 'I've gotta get this shot on net,' then go for a change in the final minute," Stajan said. "When I let it go, I heard a thump of the middle bar. You can't describe that feeling -- you have that tingle going down your spine."
Although the Canadiens pulled Huet for an extra attacker, defenseman Andrei Markov took a costly penalty with less than five seconds to play which prevented any possibility of a tying score.
"Toskala made some good saves," said Canadiens captain Saku Koivu. "I thought we were able to get our chances after the first period. But the puck wasn't going in the net for us. They got some bounces, and they played a sound game. We kind of tightened up in the second. That goal at the end, it's a tough one for us."
The Leafs were given the game's first power play, and scored the first goal when Kaberle one-timed a puck, sent by Ponikarovsky, off the left boards and past an unscreened Huet 1:18 into the contest.
Montreal tied the score with 3:14 left in the period, as Komisarek's right- point shot was tipped home by accident off Ponikarovsky's stick.
The Habs went up 2-1 at 2:33 of the second on a two-man advantage when Higgins popped in the rebound of Markov's left-point drive, but Sundin responded for a tie at 6:04 on a bank shot from behind the net.
Toronto has won both meetings this season...Montreal had won three of its last four home games coming into the contest...Leafs forward Kyle Wellwood did not play, still bothered by a sports hernia...Canadiens forward Bryan Smolinski, one of three Montreal players to recently reach the 1,000-game plateau, picked up a pair of assists...Attendance was 21,273.
11/03 22:48:31 ET