TORONTO -- Brendan Gallagher broke a tie late in the third period, and the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.
Gallagher knocked down Jeff Petry's shot from the right point and scored past sprawling goalie Frederik Andersen with 3:07 remaining for Montreal's second goal of the period.
"We were like [two different teams this game]," Gallagher said. "Our coaching staff did a really good job of remaining calm and letting us find our game, but the biggest guy in this one was (goalie) Carey Price. He gives you a chance to win every single game, and you can circle this one. We don't have a shot in the third period if we don't have him to settle us down."
Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist, and Price made 21 saves for the Canadiens (9-4-2), who had lost two in a row.
"We chopped up that puck pretty good and were fighting it in the first period," Montreal coach Claude Julien said. "We were on our heels, and when you lose three out of four and [are] playing one of the better teams in the League -- they're as hot as can be -- we were a little tentative. We made a couple adjustments after the first, and in the second we slowly started picking up the pace of our game."
Video: MTL@TOR: Toffoli buries equalizer
Mitchell Marner scored, and Andersen made 23 saves for the Maple Leafs (11-3-1), who had won four in a row and are 8-1-1 in their past 10.
"We didn't make good on the chances that we earned in the first period," Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. "We had more than enough offense there in the first to blow the game wide open and didn't capitalize or [it] didn't go our way. Our game was a mess from there."
Video: MTL@TOR: Marner scores off feed from Matthews
The Maple Leafs took a 1-0 lead at 3:36 of the first period when Marner took a pass in the slot from Auston Matthews, who stole the puck from Canadiens forward Phillip Danault behind the net.
The assist the extended Matthews' point streak to nine games (12 points; nine goals, three assists). The forward, who did not play against the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 22, has a point in his past 12 games played (16 points; 11 goals, five assists).
Maple Leafs forwards Alexander Kerfoot and William Nylander hit the post five seconds apart late in the first period.
"We weren't good in the first two periods that's for sure, we know that," Montreal captain Shea Weber said. "Carey kept us in it and stood on his head and gave us a chance to be ourselves in the third."
Toffoli tied it 1-1 from low in the left face-off circle at 6:11 of the third after a pass from Danault, who got the puck after Gallagher collected it off the right boards following a dump-in.
"We were so fortunate that we were only down one," Gallagher said. "That's what gave us life, we knew we were one shot away and how that can change momentum. Toffoli scoring that goal was huge for us. Massive goal and a great play by Phillip, and then we're right back in that game."
Montreal outshot Toronto 12-6 in the third period.
"They came in with a sense of urgency with the way the last few games have gone for them," Maple Leafs captain John Tavares said. "They played hard, just tried to play physical. Obviously, we're aware of some of the things that we do well. That's part of it, we've seen it throughout the season so far. We have to find a way to break through."
The Canadiens do not play again until next Saturday, when they host the Maple Leafs.
"There absolutely was urgency for us," Julien said. "Let's not kid ourselves, if we'd come out with another loss, that's four losses in five games and then a week to sit on that, it makes a huge difference. This win here is one of those wins you need at the right time of the schedule. This was huge for us. It puts our mindset in a much better position."
NOTES: Canadiens forward Tomas Tatar was a healthy scratch. He played in each of the previous 14 games this season. ... Matthews' point streak is the longest active in the NHL and tied for second-longest of the season with Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames and Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers each had a 10-game point streak from Jan. 20-Feb. 8.
Video: Gallagher's late goal seals win