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Budaj strong as Canadiens top Maple Leafs in season finale
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Peter Budaj posted 30 saves to lead Montreal to a 4-1 win over Toronto in the final game of the season.
Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist while Brad Staubitz, Tomas Plekanec and Erik Cole each lit the lamp for the Canadiens (31-35-16), who won two of three to close out the season, but still finished in last place in the Northeast Division.
"I want to say merci beaucoup a nous fans," said Montreal head coach Randy Cunneyworth. "We really appreciate the fans at the end for a good effort. The future is up to the new management which will come in time. Obviously, I've enjoyed being here in Montreal and being part of this organization and I'd like to stay."
Dion Phaneuf scored the only goal of the game for the Maple Leafs (35-37-10), who dropped five of seven to finish just two points ahead of Montreal. Ben Scrivens gave up three goals on 26 shots in the loss.
"We had all kinds of opportunities and had 10 to 12 great scoring chances but a post here and a post there kept them out," said Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle. "It was one of those nights for us."
It's the first time since the 2006-07 season that Montreal is missing the postseason while Toronto has not made it to the playoffs since the season before the lockout.
Plekanec scored shorthanded 3:20 in when he got the puck past the point man and raced in on a breakaway before getting it past Scrivens for his 17th of the season.
It was 2-0 1:18 into the second on a 2-on-1 break that saw Pacioretty shoot from the low left side and get it in for his 33rd of the season.
Toronto cut its deficit in half just 25 seconds into the third when a left point blast got through a screen, but the Leafs got it back 3 1/2 minutes later when Cole blew a shot past Scrivens on the fly down the right wing.
Staubitz scored into the empty net with under two minutes to play to seal the victory.
Each team won three times in the season series...Toronto went 0-for-5 on the power play while Montreal was 0-for-3...Montreal finished dead last in the Eastern Conference while Toronto finished 13th.
04/07 23:31:40 ET