for this game

Potent power play propels Maple Leafs past Canadiens

Nov 9, 2008 - 5:09 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Niklas Hagman scored two-power play goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs posted a 6-3 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday in a battle of "Original Six" rivals.

Defenseman Pavel Kubina also scored with the man advantage, and blue-liner Tomas Kaberle and Matt Stajan notched two assists apiece for Toronto, which went 3-for-7 on the power play.

Nik Antropov registered a tally and two assists, Mikhail Grabovski netted a goal and set up another against his former team and Alexei Ponikarovsky also scored for the Maple Leafs, who won for the first time in four games (1-2-1).

Robert Lang, Tomas Plekanec and captain Saku Koivu scored and Alex Tanguay notched two assists for Montreal, which suffered its first regulation loss on the road this season. The Canadiens are 4-1-2 away from Bell Centre.

"It's just one of the games in an 82-game season, and we'd rather look at the big picture and realize what we need to do to play better," Koivu said. "For the last three or four games, we haven't been playing as well as we can."

Hagman's heroics were the primary reason for Montreal's troubles on Saturday.

"I'm getting more comfortable, and when that happens, it feels like the puck stays on your stick better and your shots find the back of the net and you have a little more room on the ice," Hagman said. "But you can't take that for granted, and we have to keep working to keep it going."

After surrendering what then was a season-high four goals in his last start against the New York Islanders, Carey Price allowed six in this one. He did, however, turn aside 35 shots.

"We need to tighten up defensively," Canadiens blue-liner Mike Komisarek said. "You can't expect to win when you give up six goals and over 40 shots. We're not a team that plays a run-and-gun style. We need to play strong defensively, and we didn't deserve to win tonight."

Vesa Toskala made 17 saves to pick up the victory.

With the game tied at 3-3 with 3:33 remaining in the second period, Antropov regained the lead for the Maple Leafs by poking the puck past Price for his seventh goal of the season.

Kubina netted Toronto's third power-play goal just 73 seconds into the third period and Ponikarovsky sealed the win with just under 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the session.

"We really wanted that game. We came out with an edge and really took it to them," Stajan said. "When they came back, we never gave up - we just kept coming at them. We're proving to everyone that we can play with any team in this league. That is one of the best teams in the league, and we know we can play with them."

After Montreal's Tom Kostopoulos was given a five-minute boarding penalty for delivering a brutal hit on defenseman Mike Van Ryn, Hagman wasted little time getting Toronto on the scoreboard.

Hagman received a pass from Grabovski before slipping the puck past Price at 8:12 of the first period for his fifth tally.

Grabovski doubled the advantage just 1:48 into the second period, wristing a shot over the right shoulder of Price for his seventh goal of the campaign - and sixth in his last four games.

"I'm really happy for Mikhail Grabovski. He played well against his former team, and I'm sure he is feeling really good right now," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "I think the Canadiens knew what they had in Mikhail, but they couldn't find room for him.

"They have an unbelievable group with so much skill right now, so he wasn't going to get the opportunity. Fortunately for us, we were able to pick him up and give him a chance to play."

Hagman also noted Grabovski's spirited play against his former team.

"It gave him a little extra boost that he wants to show the coach and the other players on the team that he is a good player - and he did a pretty good job," Hagman said.

After Lang and Plekanec netted power-play goals nearly five minutes apart, Hagman put Toronto back in front with 8:21 remaining in the session. Koivu quickly knotted the contest just 70 seconds later as he unleashed a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Toskala.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 3 0 3
    TORONTO 1 3 2 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) NIKLAS HAGMAN 5 (MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, JEFF FINGER)
    8:12
    2ND PRD: TOR - MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI 7 (NIKOLAI KULEMIN, IAN WHITE) 1:48
    MON - (PP) ROBERT LANG 4 (ALEX TANGUAY, ANDREI MARKOV) 4:52
    MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKA

    Nov 8 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    TORONTO 6
    3RD PRD: TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 4 (NIK ANTROPOV, MATT STAJAN) 16:32

    Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 6  3rd - 3:28Nov 8 9:39 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    TORONTO 5
    3RD PRD: TOR - (PP) PAVEL KUBINA 3 (NIK ANTROPOV, TOMAS KABERLE) 1:13

    Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 5  3rd - 18:47Nov 8 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 3 3
    TORONTO 1 3 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) NIKLAS HAGMAN 5 (MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, JEFF FINGER)
    8:12
    2ND PRD: TOR - MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI 7 (NIKOLAI KULEMIN, IAN WHITE) 1:48
    MON - (PP) ROBERT LANG 4 (ALEX TANGUAY, ANDREI MARKOV) 4:52
    MON - (PP

    Nov 8 8:52 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    TORONTO 4
    2ND PRD: TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 5 (ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY, MATT STAJAN) 16:27

    Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 4  2nd - 3:33Nov 8 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    TORONTO 3
    2ND PRD: MON - SAKU KOIVU 5 (ALEX TANGUAY, CHRIS HIGGINS) 12:49

    Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 3  2nd - 7:11Nov 8 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    TORONTO 3
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) NIKLAS HAGMAN 6 (PAVEL KUBINA, TOMAS KABERLE)
    11:59

    Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 3  2nd - 8:01Nov 8 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    TORONTO 2
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC 4 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, ALEXEI
    KOVALEV) 9:59

    Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2  2nd - 10:01Nov 8 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    TORONTO 2
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ROBERT LANG 4 (ALEX TANGUAY, ANDREI MARKOV) 4:52

    Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 2  2nd - 15:08Nov 8 8:24 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    TORONTO 2
    2ND PRD: TOR - MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI 7 (NIKOLAI KULEMIN, IAN WHITE) 1:48

    Canadiens 0, Maple Leafs 2  2nd - 18:12Nov 8 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 0
    TORONTO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) NIKLAS HAGMAN 5 (MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, JEFF FINGER)
    8:12
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 3 3
    TOR 13 13
    GOALIES: MON - CAREY P

    Nov 8 7:58 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) NIKLAS HAGMAN 5 (MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, JEFF FINGER)
    8:12

    Canadiens 0, Maple Leafs 1  1st - 11:48Nov 8 7:42 PM