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game recap

Maple Leafs hold on to beat Canadiens

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

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Maple Leafs hold on to beat Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Montréal Canadiens 3
Three Stars of the Game
James Reimer
1st
SA: 37TOI: 59:48
GA: 3EV: 28-31
PIM: 0PP: 4-4
SV%: .919SH: 2-2
Lars Eller
2nd
G: 2Shots: 6
A: 1Hits: 2
PTS: 3PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 16:20
Tyler Bozak
3rd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 21:13

MONTREAL -- A night that celebrated the opening of the 2013-14 NHL season with one of the League's oldest rivalries turned somber when that rivalry got a little nasty in the third period.

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 to kick off the season Tuesday night, but the game became somewhat of an afterthought following a serious injury to Canadiens forward George Parros.

Engaged in their second fight of the game at 2:34 of the third period, Parros and Toronto Maple Leafs tough guy Colton Orr were grappling when Orr suddenly lost his balance and fell. Orr had a hold of Parros' jersey so as he fell he brought Parros down with him, sending him tumbling down and causing him to land on the ice face first.

Parros remained motionless on the ice as Orr called to the Canadiens' bench to send the training staff.

"You never want to see a guy get hurt like that, it's a scary situation," Orr said. "I just hope he's alright."

Blood was on the ice as the Canadiens medical staff sat Parros up and tried to get his teammates to take him off the ice before ultimately deciding to bring out a stretcher. Parros was conscious as he left the ice in a stunned Bell Centre with 21,273 fans barely making a sound other than chants of "Parros, Parros!" as he was wheeled to the Montreal dressing room.

Parros was taken to a hospital for further examination, and the Canadiens announced following the game that he had sustained a concussion but was alert and conscious.

Parros played for Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle with the Anaheim Ducks, and it was difficult for him to see what happened.

"We know what kind of person George Parros is," Carlyle said. "He played for me for a number of years, defended his teammates. He's a great person, a great guy to coach. That's just unfortunate the situation it happened in."

The incident put a bit of a damper on what was an entertaining hockey game, with the Maple Leafs getting goals from James van Riemsdyk, Dion Phaneuf, Tyler Bozak and Mason Raymond to win the opener in Montreal for the second season in a row.

A lot of the credit could have gone to goaltender James Reimer, who stopped 34 Montreal shots – including 15 of 17 in a wild first period – to give the Maple Leafs time to get back in the game.

There had been some question as to whether Reimer or Jonathan Bernier would get the start in goal, but Reimer ultimately proved Carlyle right.

"He gave me the chance to get the nod here and I wanted to make the most of it and play my hardest for my teammates," Reimer said.

NHL ON INSTAGRAM

Former Canadiens captain Guy Carbonneau signs an autograph for a lucky fan. Check out more photos from Face-Off 2013 on the NHL's official Instagram.

The line of Lars Eller (two goals, one assist), Ales Galchenyuk (two assists) and Brendan Gallagher (one goal) provided all the offense for the Canadiens.

"I really liked the line with the young kids, Eller's line with Galchenyuk and Gallagher," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "I thought those guys did a good job. They had success tonight because they were skating, they were moving their feet."

Montreal went 0-for-4 on the power play and allowed Bozak to score shorthanded on a breakaway off an Andrei Markov turnover at 17:19 of the second to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.

The Canadiens also showed a tremendous lack of discipline, giving the Maple Leafs seven power play opportunities and giving up a goal to van Riemsdyk on a two-man advantage at 8:01 of the first period that gave Toronto a 1-0 lead.

"Early in the season, special teams usually have a huge impact on the success or failure of your group," Carlyle said. "Tonight, I thought our special teams were the difference in the game. The shorthanded goal kind of turned everything in our favor and the power play got us going."

Eller tied it for the Canadiens at 10:08 of the first off a great feed from Raphael Diaz, and Gallagher gave the Canadiens the lead 2-1 at 13:54. But Phaneuf's goal at 8:36 of the second tied the game, and Bozak's shorthanded goal gave the Maple Leafs a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission.

Raymond's goal at 5:10 of the third, his first in a Maple Leafs uniform, made the score 4-2 just after the fight between Parros and Orr, causing the Bell Centre to grow even more silent. Montreal made an effort at a comeback when Eller got his second of the game off a Jake Gardiner turnover at 17:38, and a final-minute flurry forced Reimer to make a number of big saves to preserve the win.

The Canadiens began the evening with what has now become a tradition of passing a torch from player to player as they are introduced to the crowd, a play on the famous passage written in the Montreal dressing room. It began with a little twist this time as Hall of Fame member Guy Lafleur brought the torch from the Montreal room and handed it to free-agent signee Daniel Briere, who received a loud ovation from fans who booed him for years when he was with the Philadelphia Flyers for choosing to sign with them instead of the Canadiens in 2007.

scoring summary
1st Period
08:01
TOR
PPG - James van Riemsdyk (1) ASST: Phil Kessel (1), Cody Franson (1)
1 - 0 TOR
10:08
MTL
Lars Eller (1) ASST: Raphael Diaz (1), Alex Galchenyuk (1)
1 - 1 Tie
13:54
MTL
Brendan Gallagher (1) ASST: Lars Eller (1), Alex Galchenyuk (2)
2 - 1 MTL
2nd Period
08:36
TOR
Dion Phaneuf (1) ASST: Nazem Kadri (1), Nikolai Kulemin (1)
2 - 2 Tie
17:19
TOR
SHG - Tyler Bozak (1) ASST: NONE
3 - 2 TOR
3rd Period
05:10
TOR
Mason Raymond (1) ASST: Troy Bodie (1)
4 - 2 TOR
17:38
MTL
Lars Eller (2) ASST: NONE
4 - 3 TOR
penalty summary
1st Period
06:23
MTL
Lars Eller  Tripping against  Joffrey Lupul
07:18
MTL
Tomas Plekanec  Hi stick - double minor against  Joffrey Lupul
10:03
TOR
Dion Phaneuf  Boarding against  Brandon Prust
14:19
TOR
James van Riemsdyk  Holding against  P.K. Subban
2nd Period
00:46
MTL
Daniel Briere  Too many men on the ice
04:25
MTL
George Parros  Fighting against  Colton Orr
04:25
TOR
Colton Orr  Fighting against  George Parros
09:14
MTL
Max Pacioretty  Hooking against  Nazem Kadri
11:43
MTL
Daniel Briere  Holding against  Jake Gardiner
12:58
TOR
Nazem Kadri  Cross checking against  Andrei Markov
12:58
MTL
Andrei Markov  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Nazem Kadri
14:05
TOR
Dave Bolland  Holding against  Lars Eller
17:10
MTL
Travis Moen  Unsportsmanlike conduct
17:10
TOR
Mark Fraser  Unsportsmanlike conduct
17:10
TOR
Mark Fraser  Interference against  Brandon Prust
17:10
MTL
Travis Moen  Fighting against  Mark Fraser
17:10
TOR
Mark Fraser  Fighting against  Travis Moen
3rd Period
02:34
MTL
George Parros  Game misconduct against  Colton Orr
02:34
TOR
Colton Orr  Game misconduct against  George Parros
02:34
MTL
George Parros  Fighting against  Colton Orr
02:34
TOR
Colton Orr  Fighting against  George Parros
02:34
TOR
Carter Ashton  Fighting against  Jarred Tinordi
02:34
MTL
Jarred Tinordi  Fighting against  Carter Ashton
15:38
TOR
Mark Fraser  Fighting against  Brandon Prust
15:38
MTL
Brandon Prust  Fighting against  Mark Fraser
15:38
MTL
Brandon Prust  Roughing against  Mark Fraser
goalie stats
James Reimer
SA: 37TOI: 59:48
Saves: 34EV: 28 - 31
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .919SH: 2 - 2
Carey Price
SA: 38TOI: 59:02
Saves: 34EV: 18 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 14 - 15
SV%: .895SH: 2 - 3