for this game

Stajan lifts Maple Leafs past Canadiens

Nov 4, 2007 - 2:42 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are doing a fine job tormenting the Montreal Canadiens this season.

Matt Stajan's goal with 93 seconds remaining in the third period gave the Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday in a battle of "Original Six" teams.

Defenseman Tomas Kaberle and captain Mats Sundin also scored and Alexei Ponikarovsky and blue-liner Ian White each added two assists for Toronto.

With the game deadlocked at 2-2 late in the third, Stajan gained possession of the puck, raced up the right wing and blasted a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that beat goaltender Cristobal Huet for the winner.

"I was near the end of a shift as I was along the boards and saw the partial 2-on-1," Stajan said. "My initial reaction was, 'Just shoot this and get a change with a minute left.' I let it fire and I heard a thump and knew it was the middle bar behind the goalie. I saw the red light go on, it was a great feeling."

"Every time we lose, it's a tough one," Montreal captain Saku Koivu said. "It doesn't matter how you lose it, when you lose it or when they score the winner. I thought we got some chances, but they weren't going in tonight."

Stajan's fourth goal of the season provided Toronto with its second late triumph over Montreal this season. In the teams' previous meeting on October 6, Kaberle tallied in overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory.

Kaberle opened the scoring just 78 seconds into this game.

With the Maple Leafs on the power play, Ponikarovsky fed Kaberle, who blasted the puck from above the left circle past a screened Huet for his fifth goal of the season.

"It's so much fun to play here, both sides get excited," Kaberle said. "It's about 50-50 with the fans, and we always turn it up in this building. It was nice to get the winner toward the end of the game and get two points."

Defenseman Mike Komisarek leveled the game with 3:14 remaining in the first period.

Moments after Toronto successfully killed a penalty, Komisarek wristed a shot from the top of the right circle past screened netminder Vesa Toskala to put the Canadiens on the scoreboard.

Montreal grabbed a 2-1 lead in the second period, courtesy of its celebrated power-play unit.

With the Canadiens enjoying a 5-on-3 advantage for 62 seconds, defenseman Andrei Markov unleashed a blast from just inside the blue line. Toskala made the save, but Christopher Higgins - who was stationed at the top of the crease - slammed the rebound past the netminder at 2:33.

Higgins, who has six goals this season, has a power-play tally in each of his last three games.

"It's a tough one to swallow because I thought we were working pretty hard tonight," Higgins said. "We had some good looks, but Toskala made some nice saves. I wish we had buried some of the chances we had, because at the end of the night, those (misses) come back to haunt you."

Montreal, which entered Saturday with a league-best 30.9 percent conversion rate with the man advantage, has scored a power-play goal in 12 of 14 games this season.

Toronto tied it in unconventional fashion as Sundin skated around the net and sent a pass out in front. The puck deflected off the skate of Mathieu Dandenault, who was eying Ponikarovsky to the right of the goal, and past Huet to even the game at 2-2 at 6:04 of the second period.

"It was frustrating the way the bounces were," Huet said. "I'd like to review the last shot. It was not a good goal for me (to let in)."

Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau offered two reasons for the loss.

"Toskala was the difference," Carbonneau said. "The only other real difference in the play was the faceoffs. They were a lot tougher than us (in that respect). They made us chase the puck."

Huet made 29 saves for Montreal, while Toskala stopped 32 shots for Toronto.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 1 1 3
    MONTREAL 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) TOMAS KABERLE 5 (ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY, MATT
    STAJAN) 1:18
    MON - MIKE KOMISAREK 1 (MATHIEU DANDENAULT, BRYAN SMOLINSKI)
    16:46
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 6 (ANDREI MARKOV, BRYAN SMOLINSKI)
    2:33
    TOR - M

    Nov 3 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 3
    MONTREAL 2
    3RD PRD: TOR - MATT STAJAN 4 (UNASSISTED) 18:26

    Maple Leafs vs. CanadiensNov 3 9:33 PM
  • 27
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 55 roots (Close Finish)

    Maple Leafs vs. CanadiensNov 3 9:33 PM
  • 82
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 57 roots (Close Finish)

    Maple Leafs vs. CanadiensNov 3 9:29 PM
  • 25
    roots
    anorexicivan Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs vs. CanadiensNov 3 9:19 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Maple Leafs vs. CanadiensNov 3 9:19 PM
  • 5
    roots
    jemurray Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs vs. CanadiensNov 3 9:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 1 2
    MONTREAL 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) TOMAS KABERLE 5 (ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY, MATT
    STAJAN) 1:18
    MON - MIKE KOMISAREK 1 (BRYAN SMOLINSKI) 16:46
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 6 (ANDREI MARKOV, BRYAN SMOLINSKI)
    2:33
    TOR - MATS SUN

    Nov 3 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 2
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: TOR - MATS SUNDIN 8 (IAN WHITE, JASON BLAKE) 6:04

    Maple Leafs vs. CanadiensNov 3 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 6 (ANDREI MARKOV, BRYAN SMOLINSKI)
    2:33

    Maple Leafs vs. CanadiensNov 3 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 1
    MONTREAL 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) TOMAS KABERLE 5 (ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY, MATT
    STAJAN) 1:18
    MON - MIKE KOMISAREK 1 (MATHIEU DANDENAULT, BRYAN SMOLINSKI)
    16:46
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR

    Nov 3 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - MIKE KOMISAREK 1 (MATHIEU DANDENAULT, BRYAN SMOLINSKI)
    16:46

    Maple Leafs vs. CanadiensNov 3 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    MONTREAL 0
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) TOMAS KABERLE 5 (ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY, MATT STAJAN)
    1:18

    Maple Leafs vs. CanadiensNov 3 7:15 PM