Game 661 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 0

Game 661
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 0
Saturday, October 11, 2003
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

José Théodore took pleasure in routing the Toronto Maple Leafs in their season opener.

Théodore made 21 saves and the Montréal Canadiens scored three times in the second period to beat Toronto 4-0 Saturday night.

“It’s always a little fun to beat the Leafs, especially in their home opener,” Théodore said. “These games are little bit more special. The fans are more into it. There is a lot of intensity on the ice.”

The Maple Leafs, losers in the first round of the playoffs last season, were booed heartily as they left the ice.

“I can see why they got frustrated,” Toronto captain Mats Sundin said. “We certainly came out flat. It’s not at all the effort we wanted.”

Mike Ribeiro, Richard Zednik and Sheldon Souray scored in the second for the Canadiens, who won at the Air Canada Centre for just the second time in 12 games.

Théodore, who allowed five goals in Thursday’s season-opening loss to Ottawa, made several impressive saves for his 18th career shutout.

His kick save on Alexander Mogilny’s partial breakaway in the second kept the game scoreless.

Théodore, who struggled last season after winning the NHL’s MVP award the year before, said he feels more confident this year.

“Last year, I wasn’t sharp in training camp and that continued during season,” said Théodore, whose team missed the playoffs. “I don’t think we played well as a team and it just kind of kept going. This year, I felt really good in the preseason and even in Ottawa, we didn’t have success, but I felt good.”

Montréal took a 1-0 lead at 6:54 of the second after Markov’s slap shot deflected off Toronto forward Darcy Tucker’s stick to Ribeiro, who tipped it past goalie Ed Belfour. Markov’s shot broke the blade of Tucker’s stick.

Zednik made it 2-0 about six minutes later after his slap shot deflected off Toronto defenceman Tomas Kaberle’s stick.

Souray’s one-timer on a two-on-one made it 3-0 at 15:39, and Michael Ryder put a rebound past Belfour at 16:40 of the third.

“We looked really frustrated for an experienced team,” Sundin said. “The last period was pretty embarrassing. We kept turning the puck over.”

Belfour faced 22 shots.

NOTES: The Maple Leafs paid tribute to health care workers who dealt with Toronto’s SARS scare this summer…The Canadiens are 2-9-1 in Toronto since the Air Canada Centre opened in 1999…The Maple Leafs have 13 players over 30 on their roster.

Story property of ESPN

1st Period
MTL PEN – 03:53 – Hossa, slashing
TOR PEN – 06:36 – Belak, slashing
TOR PEN – 10:56 – Belak, high sticking
TOR PEN – 12:17 – team, too many men on the ice

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 03:09 – Kaberle, hooking
MTL GOAL – 06:54 – Ribeiro (Markov)
TOR PEN – 11:31 – Tucker, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 12:45 – Perreault (Zednik, Markov)
MTL PEN – 14:04 – Perreault, tripping
MTL SH GOAL – 15:39 – Souray (Juneau, Dackell)
MTL PEN – 16:36 – Rivet, high sticking / roughing double minor
TOR PEN – 16:36 – Domi, roughing

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 02:34 – Domi, hooking
MTL GOAL – 16:40 – Ryder (Audette, Rivet)

MTL – Théodore (W + SO, 21-21)
TOR – Belfour (L, 18-22)

MTL – 6+5+11 = 22
TOR – 7+9+5 = 21

MTLGoaltenders: Mathieu Garon, José Théodore. Defence: Patrice Brisebois, Ron Hainsey, Andrei Markov, Stéphane Quintal, Craig Rivet (A), Sheldon Souray (A). Forwards: Donald Audette, Jan Bulis, Andreas Dackell, Gordie Dwyer, Christopher Higgins, Marcel Hossa, Joé Juneau, Yanic Perreault, Mike Ribeiro, Michael Ryder, Jason Ward, Richard Zednik.
TORGoaltenders: Ed Belfour, Mikael Tellqvist. Defence: Wade Belak, Aki Berg, Ric Jackman, Tomas Kaberle, Ken Klee, Maxim Kondratiev, Bryan Marchment. Forwards: Nikolai Antropov, Tie Domi, Alexander Mogilny, Joe Nieuwendyk, Owen Nolan, Robert Reichel, Mikael Renberg, Gary Roberts (A), Matt Stajan, Mats Sundin (C), Darcy Tucker.

MTL – 1-1-0-0 (.500)
TOR – 0-1-0-0 (.000)


⭐ José Théodore (MTL)
⭐⭐ Andrei Markov (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Richard Zednik (MTL)