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Maple Leafs-Canadiens Preview @NHL
Maple Leafs-Canadiens Preview

GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (8-7-2) at Montreal Canadiens (12-3-2).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.

It will be a historic night for the Montreal Canadiens when they meet the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.

Prior to the game, Montreal will retire No. 12 for Hall of Famers Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer. The pair combined to play 28 years for Montreal, helping the Canadiens to 16 Stanley Cups between 1951-79.

The number will be the eighth retired by the Canadiens, joining those belonging to Montreal legends Jacques Plante (1), Doug Harvey (2), Jean Beliveau (4), Howie Morenz (7), Maurice Richard (9), Guy Lafleur (10) and Henri Richard (16).

Montreal will retire No. 5 for Bernie Geoffrion later this season.

The Canadiens are looking for their fourth straight win on home ice. Montreal has not lost at home since a 5-2 setback to the New York Rangers on Oct. 29. The Canadiens have won three straight one-game decisions at home since.

They have not won four in a row at home since Feb. 19-March 1, 2004.

The Canadiens return home after seeing their season-high five-game winning streak end with the first shootout in the team's storied history. Jose Theodore was beaten by standout rookie Sidney Crosby for the lone shootout goal in a 3-2 loss Thursday to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Theodore has struggled against the Leafs this season, going 1-1 with a 3.52 goals-against average and an .854 save percentage. He is just 4-10-3 with a 2.76 GAA and .903 save percentage in his career against Toronto.

Toronto is coming off a 5-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night. Eric Lindros ended a six-game goal-scoring drought and rookie Alexander Steen scored as Ed Belfour finished with 25 saves for the Maple Leafs.

Belfour is 4-1-3 with a 1.94 GAA, .913 save percentage and one shutout in eight games at Montreal since a loss there on March 16, 1994 as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Mats Sundin has two goals and five assists in a four-game points streak after missing 12 games with a broken bone around his eye. He has 23 goals and 35 assists in 65 career games against Montreal.

Toronto is 4-2 this season in games played on consecutive nights.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 11): Maple Leafs - 18 points, 4th place, 8 PB, Northeast Division. Canadiens - 26 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - Lindros, 9 goals; Bryan McCabe, 15 assists and 20 points; Jason Allison, 35 PIM. Canadiens - Michael Ryder, 7 goals; Saku Koivu, 13 assists and 18 points; Steve Begin, 41 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 11): Maple Leafs - Power play: 23.8 percent (27 for 113), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.6 percent (89 for 109), 15th. Canadiens - Power play: 20.5 percent (23 for 112), 7th. Penalty killing: 83.9 percent (99 for 118), 11th.

GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Belfour (7-4-2, 0 SO, 3.54 GAA); Mikael Tellqvist (1-2-0, 0, 3.36). Canadiens - Theodore (10-3-2, 0, 2.82); Cristobal Huet (no appearances).


LAST MEETING: Oct. 15; Maple Leafs, 3-2. At Montreal, Lindros snapped a tie with his second goal of the game with 7:44 to play for the Maple Leafs.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 2-4-1 on the road; Canadiens - 6-3-0 at home.

Associated Press
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