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game recap

Andersen, Maple Leafs blank Canadiens; Matthews scores twice in return

Goalie makes 33 saves for second straight shutout, Toronto's sixth win in row

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Frederik Andersen made 33 saves for his second straight shutout, and the Toronto Maple Leafs extended their winning streak to six games with a 6-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Auston Matthews scored two of Toronto's four third-period goals in his return after missing four games with an upper-body injury.

"It feels good to be back," Matthews said. "I didn't feel too hot out there the first two periods, but I think it's just all part of coming back and not playing in four games. So definitely some room for improvement, but obviously when you come into this building it's not going to be easy, and a big win tonight, for sure."

 

[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens highlights]

 

Connor Brown and James van Riemsdyk also scored in the third, and Ron Hainsey and Nazem Kadri scored 37 seconds apart in the second period for the Maple Leafs (14-7-0), who last won six consecutive games from Dec. 6-16, 2014.

"Well [Andersen] was good early," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "We weren't as competitive as they were early and they won more battles and more races. And then I thought we settled in, got playing, and we scored some timely goals. Getting the first one was big, but getting the second one really gave us some breathing room and I thought we settled in and played."

Video: TOR@MTL: Matthews bangs home great feed from Marner

Matthews' first goal at 8:59 of the third made it 5-0. Montreal goalie Charlie Lindgren, who made 22 saves in his seventh straight start in place of injured Carey Price, was replaced after the goal.

Matthews made it 6-0 at 15:27 with his 12th of the season, against Antti Niemi, who replaced Lindgren and made his Canadiens debut.

Montreal (8-11-2) has lost three straight and is 1-3-1 in its past five games.

"We had a good performance in the first half, but we collapsed in the second period," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "The scoreline says it all."

Video: TOR@MTL: van Riemsdyk finds twine on quick wrist shot

Andersen, who has 13 NHL shutouts, made 42 saves in a 1-0 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. He made 16 saves in the first period Saturday.

"We didn't allow them too much from inside, I think especially early on, there was a lot from the perimeter, and we got into the game after that," Andersen said.

Hainsey gave Toronto a 1-0 lead with his first goal at 12:07 of the second period. Kadri scored 37 seconds later to make it 2-0, extending his point streak to six games with his 10th goal at 12:44 on a wrist shot from the left side that went off Lindgren's right shoulder.

Brown increased the lead to 3-0 25 seconds into the third period. Van Riemsdyk made it 4-0 at 8:11.

Video: TOR@MTL: Brown roofs rebound of Zaitsev's point shot

"If we're able to put one in when we get chances at the beginning of the game, it might be a different story," Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty said. "But eventually that team will make you pay, they just have so much offense that's able to come wave after wave. They were able to get that first one and they built off that. It was too much, and we weren't able to recover."

 

Goal of the game

Kadri's goal at 12:44 of the second period.

Video: TOR@MTL: Kadri whips home a wrist shot off the iron

 

Save of the game

Andersen's glove save on Brendan Gallagher at 7:56 of the second period.

Video: TOR@MTL: Andersen turns away Gallagher's wrist shot

 

Highlight of the game

Matthews' goal at 15:27 of the third period.

Video: TOR@MTL: Matthews whips home wrister through a screen

 

They said it

"I think I'm being aggressive on the puck. I think I've talked about it a little lately, that I'm trying to challenge the shooter a little bit more, and obviously we've been playing really well too." -- Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen

 

"Obviously he was not himself yet. I mean, he can still shoot the puck, as you saw, he got a couple. But all his detail and all that stuff will come back just as his legs and he gets comfortable. So it was good for him to get a couple and feel good, but he's a high-high-end player, it'll take him a few games." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on center Auston Matthews

 

"The second goal wasn't necessarily caused because of a letdown after the first, but it definitely changed things. We had played some good hockey up to that point. We're making fundamental mistakes that are costing us dearly." -- Canadiens coach Claude Julien

 

Need to know

Toronto, which won 4-3 in overtime at Montreal on Oct. 14, won consecutive games against the Canadiens for the first time since 2012-13. ... It was Montreal's first regulation loss in six games against the Atlantic Division (4-1-1).

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SNO, FS-A, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: At the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Andersen, Matthews lead Leafs past Habs, 6-0

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