for this game

Stralman, Tlusty help Maple Leafs deny Canadiens

Mar 30, 2008 - 3:53 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs may not have had a more satisfying win all season.

Rookie Jiri Tlusty had a pair of goals and an assist and first-year defenseman Anton Stralman also scored twice as the Maple Leafs denied the Montreal Canadiens a chance to clinch the Northeast Division with a 4-2 victory on Saturday.

Nik Antropov collected three assists for the Maple Leafs, who surely took some satisfaction in denying the Canadiens the chance to clinch their first division title since winning the Adams Division in 1991-92.

Vesa Toskala stopped 21 shots for Toronto, which was eliminated from playoff contention when it lost to Boston on Thursday.

"Whenever you play, you're trying to win," Toskala said. "It doesn't really matter what the standings are. Winning always beats losing."

"I feel great right now, but still, we are out of the playoffs and it's a tough time for everyone in the dressing room right now," Tlusty added.

Mathieu Dandenault and Tom Kostopoulos tallied for Montreal, which only needed one point to clinch the Northeast after Ottawa lost to Boston earlier in the day. The Canadiens (44-25-10) lead the Senators (42-29-8) by six points with three games remaining.

Montreal still holds a one-point lead over idle Pittsburgh (45-26-7) for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

"There's three games left to play, so you never know," Montreal's Alexei Kovalev said.

Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau was disappointed with his team's effort, especially after it came out flat against Buffalo on Friday and still managed to win.

"I really thought that after we clinched a playoff spot, we would have a letdown, but not two games in a row," Carbonneau said.

The Canadiens played without captain Saku Koivu and defenseman Mark Streit, who both sat out with foot injuries.

Christopher Higgins, who scored in overtime in Friday's victory over Buffalo, missed a crucial penalty shot at 14:12 of the second that would have put Montreal up, 1-0. He skated in and tried to send a backhander into the right side of the net, but Toskala denied him with his blocker.

"Obviously, I would like to score and take the lead there, but he made a nice save," Higgins said. "I think I had him beat, and if I just got it over the pad, it would have went in."

After a scoreless first period, Stralman got Toronto on the board at 7:25 of the second with a wrist shot from the point that beat screened goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

Less than a minute later, the Canadiens tied it as Maxim Lapierre fired a shot into a crowded crease that Dandenault deflected past Toskala at 8:23.

However, Toronto took control behind Stralman and Tlusty. Just 70 seconds after Dandenault's goal, Stralman rushed the puck out of his own zone and skated past four Canadiens before beating Halak with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle at 9:33 for a 2-1 lead.

"It's just a goal," Stralman said. "I think I had a pretty solid game, and that's more important."

Tlusty doubled the advantage with a wrister from the slot that beat Halak to the right side just 3:17 into the third. He then made it 4-1 with 4:44 left as his deflection of Antropov's shot from the slot hit a defenseman and hopped over Halak.

"I was on the ice and it was right on my stick," Tlusty said. "I got two goals, and that's unbelievable."

Kostopoulos netted his seventh of the season with 16 seconds left to cap the scoring.

Halak stopped 33 shots for Montreal, which fell to 3-3-1 against its Northeast rival this season. The teams play a final time on April 5 in Montreal.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 1 1 2
    TORONTO 0 2 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TOR - ANTON STRALMAN 2 (NIK ANTROPOV, JIRI TLUSTY) 7:25
    MON - MATHIEU DANDENAULT 8 (MAXIM LAPIERRE, ANDREI
    KOSTITSYN) 8:23
    TOR - ANTON STRALMAN 3 (UNASSISTED) 9:33
    3RD PRD: TOR - JIRI TLUSTY 9 (NIK ANTR

    Mar 29 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    TORONTO 4
    3RD PRD: MON - TOM KOSTOPOULOS 7 (PATRICE BRISEBOIS) 19:44

    Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 4  3rd - 0:16Mar 29 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    TORONTO 4
    3RD PRD: TOR - JIRI TLUSTY 10 (NIK ANTROPOV, PAVEL KUBINA) 15:16

    Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 4  3rd - 4:44Mar 29 9:22 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    TORONTO 3
    3RD PRD: TOR - JIRI TLUSTY 9 (NIK ANTROPOV) 3:17

    Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 3  3rd - 16:43Mar 29 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 1 1
    TORONTO 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TOR - ANTON STRALMAN 2 (NIK ANTROPOV, JIRI TLUSTY) 7:25
    MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 8 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, MATHIEU
    DANDENAULT) 8:23
    TOR - ANTON STRALMAN 3 (UNASSISTED) 9:33
    MISSED PENALTY SHOTS: MON

    Mar 29 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    TORONTO 2
    2ND PRD: TOR - ANTON STRALMAN 3 (UNASSISTED) 9:33

    Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 2  2nd - 10:27Mar 29 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    TORONTO 1
    2ND PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 8 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, MATHIEU DANDENAULT)
    10:38

    Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1  2nd - 9:22Mar 29 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    TORONTO 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - ANTON STRALMAN 2 (NIK ANTROPOV, JIRI TLUSTY) 7:25

    Canadiens 0, Maple Leafs 1  2nd - 12:35Mar 29 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 0
    TORONTO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 2 2
    TOR 11 11
    GOALIES: MON - JAROSLAV HALAK
    TOR - VESA TOSKALA

    Mar 29 7:43 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Againigan Added 5 roots

    Canadiens vs. Maple LeafsMar 29 6:46 PM