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Kessel leads Leafs over Habs in Original Six battle

Feb 25, 2011 - 3:57 AM
ontreal, QC (Sports Network) - Phil Kessel had two goals and two assists as the Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Montreal Canadiens, 5-4, in an Original Six dogfight at Bell Centre.

Tyler Bozak had two goals and an assist while Brett Lebda added a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs, who have won four of five to move into the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference, four points behind Carolina for the eighth seed.

James Reimer stopped 31 shots in the victory.

"It's a big win for us after being shutout in Montreal the past two times," said Kessel. "A big win with 21 games left. This keeps us right in it. Our lines played good again and I hope we can keep this going."

Mike Cammalleri and Jeff Halpern each tallied a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who have dropped four of their last five games.

"They did some good things in the first, but we weren't that bad," said Cammalleri. "They had some big power-play goals. It's tough to win when you give up five."

Alex Auld was pulled in the first period after giving up three goals on nine shots. Carey Price finished the contest and gave up two goals on 19 shots.

Bozak's second goal of the game 4:26 into the third gave Toronto a 5-3 lead when he slammed in a Kessel feed from in front for his 10th goal of the season.

With 2:37 to play, Max Pacioretty cut the deficit to one when he chipped a rebound over Reimer, but Montreal was unable to net the equlaizer.

The first goal of the game went to Montreal as Halpern redirected a Roman Hamrlik shot just 5:43 in.

Toronto, though, scored the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.

The first goal came just over two minutes later when Kessel used a right circle faceoff win to laser the puck into the left corner. Just over four minutes later, Kessel brought the puck out front and stuffed it between the pads of Auld. Both goals came on the power play.

Lebda's first goal in 86 games came 59 seconds later when his wrist shot from the inside right circle made its way through traffic and into the net, prompting a goalie change.

The Habs scored a pair of power-play goals 20 seconds apart in the second to tie the game.

The first came 3:42 in when Cammalleri wristed the puck home from in front and James Wisniewski scored on a slap shot from the right circle to tie the game.

Toronto, though, took the lead back with a power-play goal of its own as Bozak's one-time got past Price at the 8:30 mark of the second.

Game Notes

Montreal hosts Carolina on Saturday...Toronto returns home to face the Penguins on Saturday...The Maple Leafs have taken three of the five games with Montreal this season. The two clubs will play their final game of the regular season against each other in Toronto on April 9...Toronto went 3-for-7 on the power play while Montreal was 2-for-6.