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Canadiens need shootout to defeat Maple Leafs

by Sean Farrell /

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens defensemen P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov worked overtime, and then some, to help earn a 2-1 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Forwards Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais scored for Montreal in the shootout, and Carey Price stopped Toronto's James van Riemsdyk to end it.

Mike Santorelli scored the first shootout goal against the Canadiens goalie this season; Price, who also denied Tyler Bozak, has stopped nine of 10 attempts.

Subban had an assist and three shots in a career-high 35:21 of ice time, the most in an NHL game this season. New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi had the previous high, 34:50 in a 1-0 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 1.

"My training and my fitness comes first and I've always put myself in the best shape possible to play at a high level," said Subban, who signed an eight-year, $72 million contract extension Aug. 2. "And it's one thing to want to be a go-to guy and want to be paid like one, but it's another thing to go out there and perform like one every night, and that's my job."

Subban's previous high was 32:17 on Dec. 6, 2011, in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Markov had a season-high 31:57 of ice time for Montreal, which played most of the second period with four defensemen. Markov played a career-high 31:59 on Nov. 22, 2005, in a 3-2 shootout win against the Atlanta Thrashers.

"It was demanding for them, they certainly emptied the tank, and that's the way I see it," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "It was really demanding for the defensemen, especially in the second period that we ended up losing [Sergei] Gonchar early in the period then we lost Nathan Beaulieu for 17 minutes, so it was really demanding."

Brendan Gallagher scored a power-play goal in the first period for Montreal (36-15-4), which remains in first place in the Eastern Conference with 76 points. The Canadiens blew a late third-period lead Thursday before losing 2-1 in overtime to the Edmonton Oilers, but have won nine of their past 12 (9-2-1).

"We competed [Saturday]," Therrien said. "It was not an easy game to play. And the thing is, you know what, I just took a look at the last five games and we ended up picking up nine points out of the 10, so you've always got to look at the big picture."

Price made 28 saves, reducing his goals-against-average to 1.98 to take over the NHL lead. He also leads the League with a .934 save percentage.

Toronto's Nazem Kadri put a shot from the point off the right side of the crossbar with 1:56 left in overtime.

Daniel Winnik scored in the first period, and Jonathan Bernier made 31 saves for the Maple Leafs (23-29-5), who have lost 13 in a row on the road (0-11-2).

"I think it was probably our best 65 minutes of hockey in two weeks or so," Winnik said. "We checked hard all night, didn't give them too much offensively, and I thought we were creating quite a bit of chances."

Winnik scored his sixth goal to put the Maple Leafs ahead 1-0 at 11:19 of the first period.

Their first first-period lead in seven games lasted 41 seconds until Gallagher scored his second power-play goal, tapping a puck in the crease.

The Canadiens lost two defensemen in the second period, the result of a hit on Gonchar by Toronto forward David Clarkson late in the first. Gonchar left the game with an upper-body injury after he fell headfirst into the end boards when he was hit by Clarkson behind the Montreal net.

Clarkson was given a major for inference and a game misconduct at 18:01. He also got a major for fighting with Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who was given an instigating minor, fighting major and a misconduct.

"You know, I've got a lot of respect for both those refs (Kyle Rehman and Steve Kozari)," Clarkson said. "I think I went in to hit him, and I haven't seen it but I think I got him in the shoulder, and obviously you don't like to see a guy go in awkwardly. So I'm not sure much more than that, I just was finishing my check."

Clarkson had 27 penalty minutes in the first period, including a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and a major for fighting Brandon Prust at 3:35.

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