Maple Leafs-Canadiens Preview
GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (2-1-2) at Montreal Canadiens (4-1-0).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT.
Unbeaten on the road, the Montreal Canadiens are still looking for their first win of the season at the Bell Centre as they open a four-game homestand against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Canadiens bounced back from a 4-2 loss in Tuesday's home opener with a 2-0 win at Atlanta on Wednesday. Jan Bulis and Saku Koivu scored for Montreal, which has won its first four road games for the first time since 1973-74.
Canadiens goalie Yann Danis stopped 32 shots Wednesday in his NHL debut, becoming just the third Montreal goalie to win his debut with a shutout, following Wayne Thomas in 1973 and Bob Perreault in 1955.
"I was really focused," the 22-year-old Danis said. "It was a good start for me. Our team scored the first goal, so my confidence was there. ... But it's only one game."
The Canadiens, who went 23-13-4-1 at home in 2003-04, will play 10 of their next 14 in Montreal. Goalie Jose Theodore, who rested Wednesday, was a big part of that home success, going 19-10-3 with a 2.12 goals-against average.
Theodore has struggled of late, allowing four goals in each of his last two starts against Ottawa on Tuesday and Toronto in the Canadiens' 5-4 win on Oct. 8. Theodore, who made just 16 saves against the Maple Leafs, is 4-9-3 with a 2.74 GAA in 19 career games against Toronto.
The Maples Leafs have won two straight after opening the season 0-1-2. Jeff O'Neill scored his 200th career goal en route to a hat trick, pacing Toronto in a 9-1 victory over Atlanta on Thursday.
Bryan McCabe had four assists in the rout, which finished ugly after two third-period brawls that led to 109 penalty minutes. Forward Darcy Tucker, who had a goal and three assists, needed 20 stitches in his forehead after the game.
The first fight broke out after Atlanta's Eric Boulton hit Maple Leafs forward Eric Lindros.
"That one kid Boulton took a run at one of our guys," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "That's trying to hurt people and there should be no place in the game for that. This was a disgrace."
The Maple Leafs went 8-for-19 on the power play and goalie Ed Belfour, who had allowed five goals in each of his previous two games, stopped 19 shots.
STANDINGS: Maple Leafs - 6 points, 4th place (tied), 2 PB, Northeast Division. Canadiens - 8 points, 1st place (tied), Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - O'Neill, 4 goals; McCabe, 7 assists and 9 points; Jason Allison and Tie Domi, 19 PIM. Canadiens - Michael Ryder, 3 goals; Alexei Kovalev, 5 assists; Koivu and Kovalev, 5 points; Pierre Dagenais, 12 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 13): Maple Leafs - Power play: 19.3 percent (6 for 31), 10th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 75.0 percent (15 for 20), 25th (tied). Canadiens - Power play: 12.9 percent (4 for 31), 20th. Penalty killing: 91.6 percent (33 for 36), 4th.
GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Belfour (1-1-2, 0 SO, 3.15 GAA); Mikael Tellqvist (1-0-0, 0, 2.00). Canadiens - Theodore (3-1-0, 0, 3.00); Danis (1-0-0, 1, 0.00).
SEASON SERIES: Canadiens, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 8; Canadiens, 5-4. At Toronto, Steve Begin and Mike Ribeiro scored in the final minutes to lift the Canadiens to their first 3-0 start in 27 years.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 1-0-1 on the road; Canadiens - 0-1-0 at home.