Maple Leafs top Canadiens for 4th straight win
- Associated Press
- January 18, 2014 - 9:35 PM
TORONTO — James van Riemsdyk scored with 5:33 left in the third period and the Toronto Maple Leafs extended their winning streak to four games with a 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Cody Franson, Phil Kessel and Mason Raymond also scored for the Leafs and Joffrey Lupul added an empty-netter. Jonathan Bernier made 30 saves for Toronto.
Brendan Gallagher, Brian Gionta and David Desharnais had the Canadiens' goals. Carey Price stopped 25 shots for Montreal.
Van Riemsdyk's winner came when he took a pass from linemate Tyler Bozak and redirected it on net. It was his 19th goal of the season.
A nice play from Nazem Kadri led to the Leafs' first goal at 4:49 of the first. Kadri took the puck down the left wing, put it through Alexei Emelin's skates and passed it to Franson, who beat Price.
The Leafs dominated most of the first period, until Kessel and James van Riemsdyk couldn't get a shot on a 2-on-1 rush. When the Habs went down the other end of the ice, Gallagher drew a holding penalty on Carl Gunnarsson and he and his teammates went to work.
With the seconds ticking down on the Montreal power play, Gallagher watched defenseman Andrei Markov's shot bounce off Bernier and hit Max Pacioretty. Gallagher got it and fired it in at the 17:29 mark for his 12th goal of the season.
The Habs had the Leafs on their heels from that goal through the midway point of the second period. Toronto's best chance in that span came when Kessel got a breakaway, but Price stopped him.
Two minutes later, Kessel beat Price to make it 2-1. Mason Raymond got the puck and spun around at the goal line before finding Kessel, who floated across the slot and fired a perfect shot glove side.
The goal was Kessel's 300th point in a Leafs uniform. It came in his 332nd game for Toronto.
Raymond gave Toronto a two-goal lead on the power play at the 17:47 mark. Kadri made another nice play, this one a cross-ice pass to Raymond for a one-timer.
Gionta got some momentum back for the Habs when he scored with 11.2 seconds left in the second. Bernier went down as a result of Francis Boullion's shot from the point, and Gionta was there to put back the rebound and cut Montreal's deficit to one.
Desharnais tied the score at 3 at 9:06 of the third period. After he beat Jay McClement on the faceoff, Desharnais went to the net and was in the right spot to deflect P.K. Subban's shot past Bernier from close range.
NOTES: Former International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield was on hand and sang the national anthem following a standing ovation from a season-high crowd of 19,667. ... Joonas Nattinen made his NHL debut for Montreal and played 1:45, all in the first period. Nattinen replaced Rene Bourque, who was a healthy scratch. ... Toronto called up Troy Bodie from its AHL affiliate to replace the injured David Clarkson.
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