TORONTO - The first Canadiens-Maple Leafs showdown of the season was a Saturday night classic in every sense of the word, and it ended in a 6-5 Montreal shootout win thanks to a thrilling third-period comeback.
Just 1:08 into play, Max Domi opened the scoring when he tapped in Artturi Lehkonen's feed on the rush to give the Habs an early 1-0 lead.
Video: MTL@TOR: Domi pots Lehkonen's feed for early lead
A bit later in the first, with Toronto pressing and Montreal unable to clear, Auston Matthews blasted a one-timer past Carey Price to square things up.
In the dying minutes of the period, Trevor Moore stole the puck behind the net and sent it to Alexander Kerfoot, who beat Price with a wrister to put the home team up 2-1.
In the second, Kerfoot escaped on a breakaway but had multiple attempts of his denied by Price.
Not long after, however, Trevor Moore accepted a pass from Ilya Mikheyev on a 2-on-1 and buried it to double the Leafs' lead.
After 40, the Leafs were outshooting the Habs 25-21 and leading 3-1.
In the final frame, with Phillip Danault in the box, William Nylander wristed it past Price to up the score to 4-1.
On the ensuing play - before the Leafs' goal was even announced - the Canadiens took advantage of a turnover in the neutral zone and Jonathan Drouin managed to get the puck past Leafs starter Michael Hutchinson to cut Toronto's lead back down to two.
Video: MTL@TOR: Drouin nets goal off defender in front
Then, a shade over a minute later, Brendan Gallagher whacked in a rebound on Shea Weber's shot from the point to make it a one-goal game.
Video: MTL@TOR: Gallagher pots rebound off face-off win
While on the power play late in the third, the Canadiens were awarded a penalty shot when Kasperi Kapanen threw his broken stick at Jeff Petry. The Habs rearguard scored on the attempt with pinpoint precision to tie the game at 4-4.
Video: MTL@TOR: Petry ties game with wrister on penalty shot
With just 4:40 left to play in regulation, Phillip Danault backhanded a rebound off another Shea Weber shot past Hutchinson to give the Canadiens a late 5-4 lead.
Video: MTL@TOR: Danault lifts backhander home for the lead
The Leafs weren't giving up just yet, as Matthews replied with only 1:15 left in regulation to once again even things up.
In overtime, the Canadiens couldn't solve Hutchinson on the power play. Max Domi also came close after the Leafs penalty expired, but he hit the netminder in the mask and then the crossbar.
The two teams would need a shootout to bring the game to a conclusion. Neither Matthews, Mitch Marner, nor John Tavares could solve Price, and Paul Byron's lone goal in the shootout gave the win to the Habs.
Video: MTL@TOR: Byron slips puck five-hole in shootout