FINAL
NJD
0
NYR
4
FINAL
MTL
4
TOR
1
FINAL
PHI
2
OTT
1
FINAL OT
BOS
2
WSH
3
FINAL
FLA
5
TBL
3
FINAL
NSH
1
CBJ
3
FINAL
DET
3
DAL
0
FINAL
CAR
3
PIT
8
FINAL
MIN
3
COL
1
FINAL
CHI
1
STL
3
FINAL
VAN
2
EDM
7
FINAL
PHX
5
ANA
3
FINAL
SJS
2
LAK
3
MTL
29-14-5
TOR
26-17-5

28 SOG
17 SOG

Canadiens cruise past Leafs, reclaim division lead

Mike Brophy  - NHL.com Correspondent | Sunday, 04.28.2013 / 4:48 AM

TORONTO -- One team protected its No. 1 goalie by giving him the night off. The other team played its No. 1 goalie and his teammates took the night off.

The Montreal Canadiens, with backup Peter Budaj between the pipes and starter Carey Price on the bench, thoroughly dominated the Toronto Maple Leafs, handing James Reimer a 4-1 loss Saturday before the largest crowd of the season at Air Canada Centre, 19,730.

Depending on the outcome Sunday in a game between the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators, the Maple Leafs will face either the Canadiens or Bruins in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Maple Leafs and Canadiens have met 13 times in the postseason dating to a two-game total-goal series in 1925, with Montreal winning seven and Toronto six. The last time the teams met was in 1979, when the Canadiens swept the Maple Leafs in the quarterfinals.

When Montreal traveled to Toronto two weeks ago, Price was the starter and was lit up for three goals on four shots before being replaced in what turned out to be a 5-1 loss. Knowing they might play Toronto in the first round, the Canadiens opted to rest Price on Saturday. It would not be a good thing to go up against a playoff opponent that manhandled your starting goalie in back-to-back games.

Budaj had a rather easy night of it as the Canadiens outshot the Maple Leafs 28-17, including 11-1 in the second period. At the other end, Reimer was pulled after Toronto fell behind 4-1 and replaced by Ben Scrivens.

"Obviously it wasn't my best game," Reimer said. "There were a couple of unlucky bounces, but you try to take some positives from the game and then you flush it. It's the last game of the year and we obviously wanted to win and solidify our spot, but it didn't happen."

Reimer actually had a solid first period when the Maple Leafs were outshot 9-6, but when his teammates stopped skating, it was not a night when he could singlehandedly defeat a very skilled team.

Although Reimer has often said it is important for a goalie to put losses behind him quickly, he was still in a foul mood shortly after the game ended.

"It [stinks] when you don't play as well as you can," he said. "But I don't think there's any reason to be down. You sometimes have games when you are not your sharpest and that happens. I'm not going to be too low about it. It [stinks] and you hate it, but there were positives in the game and you move on."

Montreal center Lars Eller had an excellent game, leading the scoring charge with a goal and two assists. Defenseman Andrei Markov and rookie forward Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist, and Tomas Plekanec also scored.

Phil Kessel gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead with his 20th goal of the season, and defenseman Cody Franson had an assist for the 100th point of his career.

Leading up to the game, lots had been made of the fact the Maple Leafs are a bigger, more physical team, and when they elected to start tough guys Colton Orr, Frazer McLaren and Mark Fraser against Montreal's toughest players, Brandon Prust, Ryan White and P.K. Subban, it looked like it was going to be a long, hard-fought game. Didn't turn out that way, though, and Montreal certainly was not intimidated by Toronto.

"The game is not won on the weight scale or on paper or in the gym," Eller said. "It's won on the ice."

Montreal captain Brian Gionta said, "We have been battling all year long against Toronto. It has been back and forth. There were a couple of times when we didn't come with our game and they took advantage of us. There were also a couple of games where we played well against them and we prevailed. It was kind of an even series."

Toronto won the season series 3-2-0, but based on its play Saturday and during a number of games down the stretch, that would not give the Leafs much of an edge going into the playoffs if they do meet the Canadiens. Both teams will learn their first-round opponents after Sunday night's game between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins; a Boston win will set up a Canadiens-Maple Leafs series.

Toronto coach Randy Carlyle, asked when he thought the game got away from his team, said, "I don't know. I'm scratching my head. I was mystified tonight. We had a real solid first period going for ourselves, playing the type of hockey we feel we need to play to have success, and then the momentum seemed to turn and we lacked the compete that was necessary to win some battles along the wall. We started turning the puck over and it seemed like it deteriorated from there."

1st2nd3rdT
MTL
TOR
Scoring Summary
1st Period
15:36TOR PPG - Phil Kessel (20) Wrist shot - ASST: Dion Phaneuf (19), Cody Franson (25) 1 - 0 TOR
18:01MTL Lars Eller (8) Backhand shot - ASST: Brendan Gallagher (13), Alex Galchenyuk (18) 1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
04:19MTL Andrei Markov (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Lars Eller (21) 2 - 1 MTL
09:18MTL Brendan Gallagher (15) Snap shot - ASST: Lars Eller (22), Andrei Markov (20) 3 - 1 MTL
3rd Period
02:25MTL Tomas Plekanec (14) Snap shot - ASST: Brandon Prust (9), Josh Gorges (7) 4 - 1 MTL
Three Stars of the Game
Lars Eller
1st
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 2Hits: 6
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 3TOI: 16:08
Brendan Gallagher
2nd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 3TOI: 11:03
Andrei Markov
3rd
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 4
+/-: 2TOI: 19:01
Penalty Summary
1st Period
07:53MTL P.K. Subban  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
12:08TOR Michael Kostka  Interference against  Brendan Gallagher
14:57MTL Andrei Markov  Roughing against  Leo Komarov
2nd Period
06:19MTL Raphael Diaz  Tripping against  Nazem Kadri
12:21MTL Michael Ryder  Holding against  John-Michael Liles
18:08MTL Rene Bourque  Slashing against  Joffrey Lupul
19:30TOR Clarke MacArthur  Too many men/ice - bench
3rd Period
03:05TOR Frazer McLaren  Misconduct (10 min)
03:05TOR Frazer McLaren  Charging against  Ryan White
03:05TOR Frazer McLaren  Roughing against  Jarred Tinordi
03:05TOR Frazer McLaren  Game misconduct
03:39MTL Andrei Markov  Hooking against  Leo Komarov
09:02MTL Brendan Gallagher  Interference against  Nazem Kadri
13:32TOR Clarke MacArthur  Slashing against  Raphael Diaz
13:32TOR Clarke MacArthur  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Raphael Diaz
13:32TOR Clarke MacArthur  Misconduct (10 min)
17:15MTL P.K. Subban  Hi-sticking against  Nazem Kadri
20:00TOR Dion Phaneuf  Cross checking
shots by period
PeriodMTLTOR
1st96
2nd111
3rd810
Total2817
Team Stats
CategoryMTLTOR
Power Plays0/61/7
Hits3945
Faceoff Wins3430
Giveaways1018
Takeaways17
Blocked Shots1517
Penalty Minutes1644
  • MONTREAL
  • TORONTO
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
8B. PrustL0110014:12
11B. GallagherR1134211:03
14T. PlekanecC1012019:54
17R. BourqueR0003214:20
21B. GiontaR0011015:46
26J. GorgesD0110020:55
27A. GalchenyukC012209:22
32T. MoenL0000012:03
42J. TinordiD0020014:49
51D. DesharnaisC0000014:49
53R. WhiteC000209:23
55F. BouillonD0011019:25
61R. DiazD0002221:23
67M. PaciorettyL0014015:41
73M. RyderR0001212:10
76P. SubbanD0024424:57
79A. MarkovD1121419:01
81L. EllerC1231016:08
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30P. Budaj1617.94160:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3D. PhaneufD0102224:56
4C. FransonD01-20022:02
11J. McClementC0001015:37
16C. MacArthurL00-201410:39
19J. LupulL00-11017:22
21J. van RiemsdykL00-11019:30
24J. LilesD00-22018:11
28C. OrrR000006:31
32J. ColborneC0002011:05
36C. GunnarssonD00-10016:26
38F. McLarenL0000245:17
41N. KuleminL0001015:34
43N. KadriC00-24020:36
45M. FraserD00-10017:12
47L. KomarovC00-20013:27
53M. KostkaD00-20221:19
81P. KesselR10-23019:53
84M. GrabovskiC00-20012:39
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30B. Scrivens551.00017:21
34J. Reimer1923.82642:23