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game recap

Poehling has hat trick in NHL debut for Canadiens, who defeat Maple Leafs

Also scores deciding shootout goal; Lindgren makes 44 saves for Montreal

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

Poehling's hat trick in NHL debut

TOR@MTL: Poehling nets hatty, SO winner in NHL debut

Ryan Poehling scored in each period to earn a hat trick in his NHL debut before tallying the shootout winner to lift the Canadiens to victory

  • 02:09 •

MONTREAL -- Ryan Poehling scored a hat trick in his NHL debut for the Montreal Canadiens in a 6-5 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Poehling scored his third goal of the game on a wrist shot from the slot to tie it at 5-5 with 2:31 left in the third period. He also scored the winning goal in the shootout in the season finale for Montreal (44-30-8).

"It's a surreal moment for myself and I feel like I'm in a dream," Poehling said. "I'm just in shock."

 

[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens highlights]

 

The 20-year-old forward is the first Canadiens player to score three goals in his first NHL game since Alex Smart had three goals and an assist on Jan. 14, 1943.

"It was all joy on the bench," Montreal forward Andrew Shaw said. "We're all happy for him, smiling. Who wouldn't when you see a kid come in like that. Honestly, you can't believe it. He had a couple of other opportunities as well, finishing his checks, he played hard. He deserves it. He's going to be a great player."

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Poehling nets three in debut

Frederik Andersen made 44 saves for the Maple Leafs (46-28-8), who finished third in the Atlantic Division and will play the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round.

Toronto reached 100 points despite losing its final three games (0-2-1). It is the first time the Maple Leafs, who had 105 points in 2017-18, have had consecutive 100-point seasons.

"We haven't had as much to play for here in this last little bit and it's been evident in our play," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "And so now we've got to get to the next level and play a good Boston team. We'll be ready."

Charlie Lindgren made 44 saves in his season debut for Montreal, which was eliminated Friday.

Poehling, who scored on each of his three shots, drew the Canadiens within 2-1 at 11:41 of the first period when he redirected Jordan Weal's pass from behind the net while he cut across the goal mouth.

Poehling tied it 2-2 at 2:56 of the second, scoring stick side after his deflection of Jeff Petry's point shot hit the right post.

Weal gave Montreal a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal at 7:04, but Trevor Moore tied it at 3-3 at 8:47. Shaw's 19th goal put Montreal ahead 4-3 at 10:17, but William Nylander tied it at 4-4 at 17:33.

Video: TOR@MTL: Domi sets up Shaw for one-time tally

Kasperi Kapanen gave the Maple Leafs a 5-4 lead with his 20th goal at 8:04 of the third.

Zach Hyman gave Toronto a 1-0 lead with his 21st goal at 5:50 of the first. Mitchell Marner got his 68th assist on Jake Gardiner's third goal, which made it 2-0 at 8:03.

"I think we gave up too many chances, we left [Andersen] out to dry a couple of times," Marner said. "Going forward we can't do that. The team we're playing scores on a lot of their opportunities that they're given, so we've got to be a lot better for [Andersen]."

Video: TOR@MTL: Kapanen puts away Matthews' pinpoint feed

 

They said it

"We know what we need to do in this room to be successful. We've just got to make sure we're staying above people, making it hard on other teams getting the puck in and getting to the net. We've just got to keep that rhythm going and not give up many chances defensively." -- Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner

"It was tough. I thought we deserved a better fate. I thought 96 points is a lot of points. You think you have a chance to be in the playoffs but it's not always fair, it's not the way it goes. And we showed some promise and a lot of character tonight by guys showing up and playing hard right till the end and finding a way to get a win." -- Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber

Video: Dunkin' Comebacks: Lightning, Canadiens, Predators

 

Need to know

Marner's 94 points are the most by a Maple Leafs player since Mats Sundin had 94 in 1996-97. … Gardiner's goal was the 7,589th scored in the NHL this season, surpassing the previous record of 7,588 set in 2005-06. … The only Montreal player to score more than three goals in his first game was Joe Malone, who scored five in the Canadiens' first NHL game on Dec. 19, 1917. ... Poehling was the No. 25 pick of the 2017 NHL Draft.

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: At the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of Eastern Conference First Round (TBA) 

Canadiens: Season over

Video: Poehling nets hat trick, SO winner in NHL debut

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