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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, October 11th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (0-0-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (1-0-0), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to spoil one team's home opener a couple days ago. Now, the club will try to claim a victory in front of its own fans tonight, as it hosts the Montreal Canadiens at the Air Canada Centre.

Toronto began its regular season on Thursday versus the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, but spoiled the team's championship banner raising by posting a 3-2 victory.

Playing in his first NHL game, 22-year-old Nikolai Kulemin notched the game- winner in the third period. The 2006 second-round pick's tally gave Toronto a two-goal edge before the Red Wings cut it to one.

Pavel Kubina and Dominic Moore also tallied for the Maple Leafs, who gave new head coach Ron Wilson a victory in his debut behind the Toronto bench.

Vesa Toskala made 35 stops for the victory and is 4-1-1 with a 2.48 goals against average in seven games (6 starts) lifetime versus the Canadiens.

Montreal's 100th year of existence didn't get off to such a great start, as the club was defeated by Buffalo, 2-1, in a shootout on Friday. The Sabres' Ales Kotalik scored the decisive goal in the shootout, beating Carey Price over his right pad.

Price ended with 35 saves, while Robert Lang scored for Montreal, which plays the second of three straight road games tonight to begin the season. The Canadiens, who finished with the top record in the Eastern Conference last year, play in Philadelphia on Monday.

The 21-year-old Price had success against Toronto last year, going 4-1-0 against the club in five starts while posting a 2.17 GAA. However, 23-year-old Jaroslav Halak could draw the start tonight if head coach Guy Carbonneau decides not to go with Price on back-to-back nights.

These two Northeast Division rivals split their eight meetings last year, including a split of the four matchups in Toronto. The Maple Leafs have won five of the last seven as the host in the series.

10/11 10:28:32 ET

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