Game 654 – Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 1

Game 654
Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 1
Saturday, February 9, 2002
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Maple Leafs were one team that figured out a way to solve Montréal Canadiens goalie José Théodore. Pound him with shots.

Robert Reichel had a goal and an assist as Toronto beat Montréal 4-1 on Saturday afternoon, extending the Leafs’ home unbeaten streak against the Canadiens to nine games. “He’s certainly a great young goalie and we knew it wouldn’t be easy to score,” said Leafs forward Travis Green. “And we knew we had to get a lot of shots on him.” Green and Shayne Corson scored for Toronto, which has won four of its past five games. Jyrki Lumme added a late shorthanded empty-net goal.

“You have to have good depth to win,” Corson said. “It’s nice to get a win with the Olympic break coming up. We got one more game Monday night. We’ll have a week off, and hopefully, we’ll have the rest of the guys back.”

Darcy Tucker had a pair of assists as the Leafs, riding a 8-0-1-0 streak at the Air Canada Centre against the Canadiens, outshot their long-time rivals 46-22.

“Today was one of our better efforts of the season,” Tucker said. “We put a lot of pucks on net and had a lot of traffic. Théodore played great. He’s one of those guys like ‘Cujo’ (Curtis Joseph), that as a teammate you want to play hard for every night because he’s so dependable.”

Former Leaf Sergei Berezin scored his third goal in his sixth game since joining the Canadiens, who had won their previous two road games.

José Théodore, who was coming off back-to-back 1-0 shutouts against the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils, was sensational in making 42 saves.

“They came out real strong. They scored on their first shot,” Théodore said. “They have a great team, and we didn’t come out prepared.”

The loss snapped Montréal’s six-game unbeaten streak.

The Leafs had little trouble with the Canadiens in the fourth of five meetings between the two teams. The Leafs lead the season series 2-0-2-0 with the final game on March 9 in Montréal.

Théodore’s quest for a third consecutive shutout ended before most of the 19,425 fans had even settled into their seats. Reichel was left all alone in front of the Habs’ net and scored on a nice pass from rookie Jeff Farkas 1:10 into the game.

The assist for Farkas, who was called up February 6 in place of the injured Alexander Mogilny, was his first NHL point.

The Leafs went ahead 2-0 midway through the first period on Corson’s goal, which came just after a Montréal penalty expired. Corson fought off Canadiens defenceman Francis Bouillon in front of the net and redirected Darcy Tucker’s pass from behind the goal-line.

The Leafs dominated the first period, outshooting the Canadiens 14-5, but Montréal had a small burst in the second to keep it close.

Berezin, traded by the Leafs to the Phoenix Coyotes in the off-season, scored a power-play goal at 11:27 of the second period. He picked up a loose puck beside the net and quickly snapped it past Curtis Joseph.

But the Leafs kept coming as Green backhanded a shot past a sprawling Théodore with four seconds left in a period, the 20th shot by Toronto in the period.

“It was tough giving up the goal with four seconds left,” Berezin said. “When you play Toronto it’s the biggest game of the year.”

Both teams wrap up their pre-Olympic schedules on Monday at home: the Leafs play the Atlanta Thrashers and the Canadiens face the Detroit Red Wings.

NOTES: The teams had a rare 3 p.m. start…Mogilny missed his fourth game with a back injury while Dmitri Yushkevich (blood clot) missed his second game…Leafs Lumme, Shayne Corson, Tucker and Jonas Hoglund are all former Habs while Doug Gilmour, Yanic Perreault and Berezin are former Leafs.

Story property of TSN

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 01:10 – Reichel (Farkas)
MTL PEN – 01:44 – Bouillon, holding
TOR PEN – 05:19 – Joseph, tripping
MTL PEN – 08:40 – Kilger, tripping
TOR GOAL – 10:45 – Corson (Tucker, Reichel)

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 04:23 – Odjick, roughing
TOR PEN – 04:23 – McCabe, tripping
TOR PEN – 09:59 – Berg, high sticking
TOR PEN – 10:23 – McCabe, roughing
MTL PP GOAL – 11:27 – Berezin (Perreault, Robidas)
MTL PEN – 13:04 – Gilmour, slashing
TOR GOAL – 19:56 – Green (Corson, Tucker)

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 07:23 – McCauley, tripping
MTL PEN – 11:59 – Bouillon, hooking
TOR PEN – 17:17 – team, too many men on the ice
TOR SH EN GOAL – 18:49 – Lumme

TOR – Joseph (W, 21-22)
MTL – Théodore (L, 42-45)

TOR – 14+20+12 = 46
MTL – 5+7+10 = 22

TORGoaltenders: Curtis Joseph, Corey Schwab. Defence: Wade Belak, Aki Berg, Nathan Dempsey, Tomas Kaberle, Jyrki Lumme, Bryan McCabe. Forwards: Shayne Corson, Tie Domi, Jeff Farkas, Travis Green, Jonas Hoglund, Alyn McCauley, Robert Reichel, Mikael Renberg, Gary Roberts, Mats Sundin (C), Darcy Tucker, Garry Valk.
MTLGoaltenders: Jeff Hackett, José Théodore. Defence: Francis Bouillon, Karl Dykhuis, Andrei Markov, Stéphane Quintal, Craig Rivet, Stéphane Robidas. Forwards: Sergei Berezin, Jan Bulis, Andreas Dackell, Doug Gilmour, Joé Juneau, Chad Kilger, Gino Odjick, Yanic Perreault, Oleg Petrov, Mike Ribeiro, Shaun Van Allen, Richard Zednik.

TOR – 30-18-5-4 (.605)
MTL – 24-22-8-3 (.518)


Bryan McCabe (TOR)
⭐⭐ José Théodore (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Curtis Joseph (TOR)