NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Montreal
(Thursday, February 7th)
Final Score: Toronto 4, Montreal 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Darcy Tucker scored two goals, as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Montreal Canadiens, 4-2, at the Bell Centre.
Kris Newbury and Kyle Wellwood also tallied for the Maple Leafs, who have won two of three. Vesa Toskala made 34 saves to record his 19th win of the season.
Maple Leafs defenseman Bryan McCabe returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing the last 22 games with a broken left hand. He suffered the injury against the Canadiens on December 15th.
"It's good to have McCabe back there on defense," said Toronto's Mats Sundin. "But anytime Montreal plays Toronto, it's seems no matter where the teams are in the standings, you have a playoff type of atmosphere. You can feel it in the dressing room. I think for us we were embarrassed at home against Florida and we wanted to make sure that we're a better team than that. I think we came back and showed some character and had a good game tonight."
Tomas Plekanec and Alexei Kovalev each posted a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who have lost two of three. Carey Price, who was recalled from Hamilton of the American Hockey League on Monday and started his first contest since January 5, allowed three goals on 27 shots in defeat.
"No matter what the standings are, you can throw it out the window when we play them (Toronto)," said Montreal's Christopher Higgins. "It's a pretty tight game. I don't think this game had the intensity that it normally does. We didn't do our job to earn the win."
The Maple Leafs grabbed a 2-1 lead at the 1:24 mark of the second. Tucker was positioned at the half boards and dropped the puck to Matt Stajan behind the net. Stajan stickhandled around a Montreal defender and threw the puck out front to Tucker, whose one-timer found the twine.
Toronto utilized the power play to extend its margin to 3-1 in the final minute of the frame. With Wellwood on the lip of the crease, he redirected Tomas Kaberle's shot from the point and, while falling to his knees, lifted his own rebound over the extended right pad of Price for the 100th point of his NHL career.
Sundin registered the secondary assist to become the 30th player in NHL history to reach the 1,300-point plateau. For his career, Sundin has scored 545 goals and collected 755 assists in 1,287 games.
Montreal cut the deficit to 3-2 at 6:20 of the third. Plekanec sent a long, lead pass springing Kovalev on a breakaway. Kovalev skated down the middle of the ice, sold the forehand and lifted a backhander high over the glove of Toskala.
Tucker added an empty-net marker with 29 seconds left to seal the win.
Plekanec put the Canadiens on the board with 8:51 remaining in the opening stanza. Andrei Markov fired a slap pass from the left point to Kovalev, who then dished out front to Plekanec for an easy tap-in. It was Plekanec's 20th goal of the season, tying his career high set last year.
Toronto tied the game at one with 2:36 left on Newbury's first tally since January 4, 2007. Dominic Moore sent a pass from the right boards to the high slot, where Newbury hammered the puck past the glove of Price.
Toronto's Nik Antropov served the third and final game of his league-imposed suspension for throwing his stick at game officials at the conclusion of last Thursday's 3-2 overtime loss at Carolina...Kovalev has registered three goals and eight points during his four-game point streak...Tucker's first goal gave him 300 career points as a Leaf...Toronto snapped a three-game road losing streak...Montreal finished 2-2-0 on its four-game homestand...With the victory, Toronto evens the season series (3-1-2)...Toronto went 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Canadiens failed to score on their four opportunities with the man advantage.
02/07 22:50:23 ET