Preseason Game 41 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1

Preseason Game 41
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Centre Bell, Montréal, Québec

Goaltending stole the spotlight at the Bell Centre Tuesday night.

Josh Holden and Nathan Perrott scored first-period goals and Toronto goaltending tandem Jamie Hodson and Sébastien Centomo allowed only one shot through as the Maple Leafs beat the Montréal Canadiens 2-1 in preseason action. Canadiens goaltender José Théodore closed the door after the first, but his teammates couldn’t generate enough offence, despite outshooting the Leafs 29-21.

Yannick Perreault scored the lone Montréal goal.

“There is a lot of things you have to like and that (shot count) is one of them,” Canadiens head coach Claude Julien said. “There are still areas we need to work on, obviously.”

Canadiens defenceman Stéphane Quintal was also pleased with his team’s defensive effort.

“We didn’t give up too many scoring chances and that is what we’re trying to do,” Quintal said.”The only negative was our power play.”

Leafs head coach Pat Quinn was impressed with the effort his two young netminders delivered.

“We were out-chanced and outplayed in quite a few areas except goal,” Quinn said. “Those two kids were terrific.”

After a turnover deep in the Canadiens end, Holden scored the Leafs first goal 2:53 into the game. It was Toronto’s first shot on Théodore, who appeared shaky in the first period.

Perrott scored the winner late in the first period, less than 30 seconds after Montréal’s Perreault went to the penalty box for hooking. Perrott was able to get his stick on the puck, tipping it past Théodore.

Perreault retaliated at 1:34 of the second period after Leafs prospect Carlo Colaiacovo was called for interference. Perreault put a shot over the shoulder of Jamie Hodson to cut the Leafs lead in half.

Hodson was replaced by Montréal native Sébastien Centomo 10:40 into the second period. He stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced in just over 30 minutes of play.

“This was a big competition between three goaltenders for a back-up or third string spot,” Centomo said. “I had friends here and guys I used to play with. It was great. I couldn’t have asked for better.”

The back-up spot on the Leafs roster is available because Trevor Kidd is out until November with a shoulder injury.

Théodore played the full three periods for the Canadiens, deflecting 19 shots on goal.

“I was happy when Claude (Julien) to let me play the whole game,” Théodore said. “You look at the first period, three shots and two goals, it’s hard.

“You want to get momentum and work on a lot of different situations. It’s also good for the mental that you have different situations; when you’re down 2-0 you have to make sure you find a way to make the next save.”

Toronto was 1-for-3 on the power play and Montréal was 1-for-9.

Habs’ defenceman Francis Bouillon did little to increase his stock in the game, making two errors on the same shift on the power play and then taking a hooking penalty to negate the man-advantage.

Canadiens forward Marcel Hossa played a physical game and did not shy away from going hard into the corners. He missed a golden chance to tie the game late in the third with Centomo on his back but just missed.

“Marcel seems to be getting better every day,” Julien said. “It’s all about confidence.”

Mike Ribeiro, who always seems to be on the brink of emerging from his shell, also enjoyed a strong game.

“You need to take the positives out of these games and take them to the next game and try to win,” he said. “I think we are getting better every game.”

The Leafs are searching to fill a spot on their blue-line and have four young prospects, including Colaiacovo, Maxim Kondriatiev and Pierre Hedin, in camp fight for the job,

“I don’t know if at this point I can give an edge anywhere,” Quinn said. “We’re going to look at them and then I will try to make the best decision.”

Montréal tough guy Sylvain Blouin left the game late in the first period with a bruised left shoulder.

Story property of

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 02:57 – Holden (Reichel, Green)
TOR PEN – 11:38 – Colaiacovo, tripping
MTL PEN – 18:39 – Perreault, hooking
TOR PP GOAL – 19:05 – Perrott (Marchment, Renberg)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:34 – Colaiacovo, interference
MTL PP GOAL – 01:43 – Perreault (Bulis, Quintal)
TOR PEN – 13:21 – Perrott, tripping
MTL PEN – 15:10 – Bouillon, hooking
TOR PEN – 17:40 – Pushor, roughing

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 03:37 – Kondriatev, tripping
TOR PEN – 04:30 – Tucker, interference
TOR PEN – 07:46 – Hedin, interference
TOR PEN – 08:53 – Tucker, roughing
MTL PEN – 08:53 – Audette, roughing
MTL PEN – 10:07 – Traverse, holding
TOR PEN – 11:46 – team, delay of game
TOR PEN – 19:50 – Green, holding

TOR – Hodson (W, 13-14), Centomo (15-15)
MTL – Théodore (L, 19-21)

TOR – 3+9+10 = 21
MTL – 7+13+9 = 29