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game recap

Five Canadiens score in win against Maple Leafs

Nikita Scherbak gets goal in NHL debut for Montreal, which won third in row

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Alexander Radulov was one of five Montreal Canadiens to score in a 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Saturday.

The Canadiens (25-9-6) have won three in a row and have a point in six straight.

The Maple Leafs (18-13-8) had a seven-game point streak end.

"I'm certainly happy about the performance tonight," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "Guys showed a lot of character, a lot of passion, and it was important for us to get really good start, especially with all the injuries we've got. The start of our game really put us in a good position confidence-wise."

 

WATCH: All Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs highlights

 

The Canadiens took a 2-0 lead 3:47 into the first period. Max Pacioretty scored his 19th of the season 20 seconds into the game when he took a pass from Radulov behind the net and put it past Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen from the slot.

Artturi Lehkonen squeezed a wrist shot between Andersen's blocker and chest protector 3:27 later.

Video: MTL@TOR: Lehkonen beats Andersen with quick wrister

The Maple Leafs made it 2-1 when Mitchell Marner set up Tyler Bozak in the slot at 8:25 to cap an end-to-end rush. Toronto tied the game 2-2 at 16:01 on a power-play goal by Nazem Kadri, who put a rebound at the top of the crease behind goalie Carey Price.

Nikita Scherbak scored in his NHL debut to give Montreal a 3-2 lead with one second left in the first period. Scherbak was a first-round pick (No. 26) in the 2014 NHL Draft and was recalled from St. John's of the American Hockey League on Thursday after forward Brendan Gallagher was sidelined at least eight weeks by a hand injury.

"It was a game-changer, the timing," Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said of Scherbak's goal. "They tie the game up and we get one right at the end there, that was a big morale boost for us coming back in here. You have to be happy for the young guy obviously. It was a big moment for him."

Radulov made it 4-2 36 seconds into the second period.

Marner got his third assist by circling the zone to feed van Riemsdyk with a cross-crease pass at 18:15 to get the Maple Leafs within 4-3.

Michael McCarron put the Canadiens up 5-3 at 3:51 of the third period with a shot from the corner that went in off Andersen's stick and between his legs. It was McCarron's second NHL goal in 31 games.

Video: MTL@TOR: Pacioretty slips one home through traffic

 

Goal of the game

Scherbak slipped behind Maple Leafs defensemen Morgan Rielly and Nikita Zaitsev on a power play. He took a pass from Jeff Petry before spinning in the slot to put it past Andersen.

"I couldn't even dream about that," Scherbak said. "I only [dreamed] to step on the ice in my first NHL game, and to score a goal, it's amazing."

Video: MTL@TOR: Scherbak scores nifty PPG for first NHL goal

 

Save of the game

Price came across the net to rob Auston Matthews with his right shoulder, keeping the score 5-3.

 

Highlight of the game

Marner carried the puck through the neutral zone before passing to James van Riemsdyk on the right wing. Van Riemsdyk quickly returned a pass to Marner in the slot, where he spotted Bozak trailing the play and set him up with a no-look, backhand touch pass.

Video: MTL@TOR: Bozak nets PPG to finish beautiful rush

 

Unsung performance of the game

Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber played a game-high 26:14 and had two assists and four blocked shots.

Video: MTL@TOR: Radulov tallies PPG on Weber's great pass

 

They said it

"I obviously didn't make the right decision there. Last time when we did it, we thought it was the right decision. This time, it wasn't the right decision, so it's amazing how winning and losing goes into those things." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on his decision to start Frederik Andersen in back-to-back games

 

"I'm really happy the way he played today. He battled, he won his battles, and he scored a huge goal for us. When we jump up by two goals in the first, we let them off the hook when they tied it up. Scherbak got that great goal, I'm really happy he got his first, and it was huge for our team." -- Canadiens forward Alexander Radulov on Nikita Scherbak

 

Video: MTL@TOR: McCarron scores from below goal line

 

Need to know

Therrien won his 400th NHL game as a coach (400-293-80, 23 ties). … Marner matched his NHL high with three assists (third time).

 

What's next

Canadiens: Host the Washington Capitals on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, RDS, SNE, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: At the New York Rangers on Friday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, TSN4, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Five Canadiens tally goals in 5-3 win over Leafs

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