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Maple Leafs preach attention to detail vs. Canadiens

by Arpon Basu

MONTREAL -- If the Toronto Maple Leafs needed a reminder just how thin the margin is between victory and defeat, they got it in their first game back following the Olympic break.

The Maple Leafs lost 5-4 in overtime on the road against the New York Islanders on Thursday, a game where they allowed three goals off sloppy turnovers, including the overtime winner by Lubomir Visnovsky.

Coach Randy Carlyle could have taken that game and used it as an example of what happens when his team is not focusing on the right things, but he's already had enough of that material this season.

"We've had lots of those lessons," Carlyle said. "The teacher's tired of bringing the same lesson."

The lesson had better stick Saturday at Bell Centre against a Montreal Canadiens team that is two points ahead of the Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division with both teams having 21 games remaining.

"Attention to detail is really critical in these situations," Carlyle said. "The pressure that comes with the points that are available, we're playing in a raucous building in Montreal; all those things are going to be front and center. But again, discipline and focus on what we can do. We can play the game at a high level if we stay away from the sloppiness and out-compete some teams here."

The Maple Leafs will not have to face Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, who remains out after aggravating a lower-body injury at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Montreal has collected three of four points with backup Peter Budaj in goal since the NHL schedule resumed on Tuesday.

Toronto called up center Peter Holland from the American Hockey League and he will be in the lineup against Montreal.

"[He's] a young player that can make plays down the middle," Carlyle said. "When we brought him here to this hockey club we knew there would be issues maintaining him here once we got healthy bodies back. He's a young guy that's still developing, but we think he can complement our lineup with his skill set and his offensive instincts."

Jonathan Bernier will make his eighth straight start in goal for the Maple Leafs.

The Canadiens will ice the same lineup that beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-5 in a shootout on Thursday, meaning Brandon Prust (upper body), Ryan White (illness) and Michael Bournival (concussion) remain out, though all three are skating.

Daniel Briere, who has two goals and two assists in two games since play resumed following the Olympic break, will again be coach Michel Therrien's fourth-line center between Travis Moen and George Parros while getting time on the power play. Briere leads the team in points per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time this season, according to

Here are the probable lineups for the Maple Leafs and Canadiens:


James van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Joffrey LupulNazem KadriDavid Clarkson

Mason RaymondPeter HollandNikolai Kulemin

Frazer McLarenJay McClementTroy Bodie

Carl GunnarssonDion Phaneuf

Jake GardinerCody Franson

Tim GleasonMorgan Rielly

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Scratched: Trevor Smith, Paul Ranger

Injured: Dave Bolland, Colton Orr


Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Rene Bourque - Lars Eller - Dale Weise

Travis Moen - Daniel Briere - George Parros

Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Douglas Murray - Jarred Tinordi

Peter Budaj

Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Francis Bouillon

Injured: Carey Price, Davis Drewiske, Ryan White, Brandon Prust, Michael Bournival

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