Game 659 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1

Game 659
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1
Saturday, February 8, 2003
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Mats Sundin came through on a night when the Toronto Maple Leafs honoured a captain from a different era.

Sundin scored twice as the Maple Leafs won their season-high fifth straight, 3-1 over the Montréal Canadiens on Saturday night.

The Maple Leafs honoured Darryl Sittler with a banner raising ceremony before the game. Sittler paid tribute to wife Wendy, who died 16 months ago of colon cancer. The banner had her name on it.

“We all felt it. It was an emotional night,” Sundin said. “It wasn’t the best hockey game, but we got the job done. Montréal probably didn’t have their best night, but we’ll take the points and remember it as Darryl’s night.”

Sundin scored his 25th and 26th goals for the Maple Leafs, who are on their longest winning streak since winning five in a row December 6-15, 2001.

Toronto’s Alexander Mogilny spoiled Ed Belfour’s shutout bid with a turnover in front of the net with 3:45 left in the third period. Montréal’s Jan Bulis scored the unassisted goal.

Belfour, tied for the league lead with six shutouts, didn’t make any impressive saves, but was steady throughout. Backup Trevor Kidd and Belfour have allowed just seven goals in the last five games.

Belfour said he was inspired by Sittler’s ceremony.

“To watch that banner go up was something,” Belfour said. “It’s great to be a Leaf.”

José Théodore allowed three goals on 38 shots for the Canadiens, who tied a season high with their fourth straight loss. Théodore blamed poor defensive coverage for the loss.

“We only started playing hockey when it was 3-0,” Théodore said.

Sundin opened the scoring on a two-man advantage at 14:46 of the first. Mogilny made a pass from behind the net to Sundin, who flicked a wrist shot past Théodore.

“You can leave a guy like Mats Sundin alone for that long a time,” Théodore said.

Sundin put the puck through Théodore’s pads on a breakaway at 1:50 of the second.

Mogilny made his second pass from behind the net to Jyrki Lumme, who redirected it past Théodore at 11:04 of the second.

Lumme said Sundin and Mogilny were the difference.

“It’s huge when they are on top of their games,” Lumme said.

The Canadiens went 0-for-4 on the power-play in the third period to finish 0-for-5.

Former Leaf Doug Gilmour received a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with three second left in the seconds period, and later a 10-minute misconduct for arguing with the officials.

NOTES: Sittler captained the Maple Leafs in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The ceremony came 27 years and one day after his NHL record 10-point performance against Boston…Montréal defenceman Patrice Brisebois was taken to a hospital as a precaution after experiencing chest pains before the game…Montréal is 3-4-2-1 since coach Claude Julien replaced the fired Michel Therrien on January 17…The Canadiens are 1-9-1 in Toronto since the Air Canada Centre opened in 1999…Attendance was a regular-season record 19,439.

Story property of ESPN

1st Period
MTL PEN – 12:23 – team, too many men on the ice
MTL PEN – 14:04 – Quintal, high sticking
TOR PP GOAL – 14:46 – Sundin (Mogilny, Antropov)

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 00:50 – Markov, unsportsmanlike conduct
TOR PEN – 00:50 – McCabe, tripping
TOR GOAL – 01:50 – Sundin (Renberg)
TOR GOAL – 11:04 – Lumme (Mogilny, Antropov)
TOR PEN – 19:13 – Svehla, elbowing
MTL PEN – 19:56 – Zednik, cross checking
MTL PEN – 19:56 – Gilmour, unsportsmanlike conduct + misconduct

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 03:04 – Tucker, holding
TOR PEN – 04:49 – Reichel, slashing
TOR PEN – 07:59 – Corson, hooking
TOR PEN – 11:54 – Hoglund, roughing
MTL GOAL – 16:15 – Bulis

TOR – Belfour (W, 32-33)
MTL – Théodore (L, 35-38)

TOR – 12+15+11 = 38
MTL – 8+12+13 = 33

TORGoaltenders: Ed Belfour, Trevor Kidd. Defence: Wade Belak, Anders Eriksson, Tomas Kaberle, Jyrki Lumme, Bryan McCabe (A), Robert Svehla. Forwards: Nikolai Antropov, Shayne Corson, Tie Domi, Tom Fitzgerald, Travis Green, Jonas Hoglund, Alyn McCauley, Alexander Mogilny, Robert Reichel, Mikael Renberg, Mats Sundin (C), Darcy Tucker.
MTLGoaltenders: Mathieu Garon, José Théodore. Defence: Francis Bouillon, Karl Dykhuis, Andrei Markov, Stéphane Quintal, Craig Rivet (A), Patrick Traverse. Forwards: Jan Bulis, Mariusz Czerkawski, Andreas Dackell, Doug Gilmour, Marcel Hossa, Joé Juneau, Saku Koivu (C), Randy McKay, Oleg Petrov, Mike Ribeiro, Niklas Sundstrom, Richard Zednik.

TOR – 30-20-4-1 (.591)
MTL – 21-23-7-5 (.482)


Mats Sundin (TOR)
⭐⭐ Ed Belfour (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Alexander Mogilny (TOR)