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game recap

Alexander Radulov returns, boosts Canadiens

Assists on both goals against Maple Leafs after missing two games because of illness

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens got a big boost from Alexander Radulov's return from illness.

Radulov and Shea Weber set up goals by Paul Byron and Alex Galchenyuk, and Montreal ended a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell Centre on Saturday. 

Byron scored his seventh goal at 15:45 of the first period, and Galchenyuk made it 2-0 with his seventh on a power play at 0:32 of the second. 

 

WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens highlights

 

Radulov, who missed the past two games, has eight assists during a six-game points streak. 

"He's got so much passion and his passion, he brings that to his teammates, his linemates, and that line was really good tonight," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "[Galchenyuk] was good, [Byron] again, what a big goal that he scored because we had a really good start, and I like his work ethic and I like his passion."

Carey Price made 31 saves for the Canadiens (14-3-2). 

Price, who was rested for Montreal's 3-2 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, is the first Canadiens goalie without a regulation loss in his first 12 games of the season since Ken Dryden started with eight wins and four ties in 1972-73. 

William Nylander scored a power-play goal at 8:47 of the second period for Toronto (8-7-3), which scored 12 goals in winning its past two games, including a 6-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Frederik Andersen made 27 saves.

Video: TOR@MTL: Price makes consecutive pad stops

"I expected us to come here and win," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "They played back-to-back, we had an opportunity. In the end, we didn't execute. I mean, it was a good game, don't get me wrong, hard-fought, we had our opportunities, all those things. 

"You set expectations for yourself in life, and if you set high expectations, you have a chance to reach them. And if you don't, you settle for second best. To me, we've got to get over the mindset, we should be coming in here to win, and so we've got to get that fixed."

Radulov set up Montreal's first goal with a pass back to the right point for Weber, whose one-timer was deflected by Byron between Andersen's pads. 

Galchenyuk, who ended a six-game points streak Friday, scored five seconds after Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak was penalized for tripping at 0:27 of the second. 

After winning the faceoff in Toronto's zone, Galchenyuk turned around as Weber passed from the left point to Radulov on the right side. Radulov passed across the slot to Galchenyuk, who drove to the net and shot past Andersen.

"He makes plays at top-end speed," Galchenyuk said. "His playmaking skills, they're great."

Video: TOR@MTL: Nylander nets Komarov's feed for PPG

 

Goal of the game

Galchenyuk praised Radulov for setting up his power-play goal.

"I think it was an easy play for me, it was an empty net," Galchenyuk said. "He brought all the attention to him and I give all the credit to him. I was just trying to get open because I know if he doesn't have a perfect shot he's not going to just waste it, he's going to make a play that is the best, and he gave me a great play, so I just had to put it in."

Video: TOR@MTL: Galchenyuk rips a one-timer for nifty PPG

 

Save of the game

Price made a glove save on Auston Matthews' power-play opportunity with 2:17 left and dropped the puck to let defenseman Andrei Markov clear the zone.

Video: TOR@MTL: Price flashes glove to rob Matthews

 

Highlight of the game

Weber checked Nylander against the boards in the second period, a hit that drew a collective gasp from the Bell Centre crowd.

Video: TOR@MTL: Weber checks Nylander into the boards

 

Unsung moment of the game

Byron was on the bench for a stretch of more than nine minutes after his second shift because Montreal went on the power play twice. He joined Torrey Mitchell and Phillip Danault for a strong third shift, with sustained pressure in Toronto's zone, and play continued for a shift by the line of David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Andrew Shaw without a whistle before Byron returned with his regular linemates Galchenyuk and Radulov to produce the first goal on his fourth shift.

Video: TOR@MTL: Byron pushes in rebound to open the scoring

 

They said it

"I just think there's more to give and you've got to get tired of losing. You've got to want to win every single night, especially the best teams, you want to be better than them, so you've got to find a way to step up. So our young guys have got to figure out you're not scoring off the rush, you've got to score off the cycle. It's a harder game in the National Hockey League, you've got to dig in." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock

 

"He's so creative, and you know when you give him the puck, I just try to open up because I know I will get it back. His speed and, I don't know, there are so many good things, right, but it's nice to play with two fast wingers like him and (Paul Byron). They make my life really easy." -- Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk about playing with Alexander Radulov

 

Need to know

Pacioretty played his 500th game. ... Matthews has no points in his past four games, and has not scored a goal in 12 games.

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TSN4, FS-SE, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: Host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, SNE, TSN5, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Galchenyuk, Radulov power Canadiens past Leafs, 2-1

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