Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 2
Saturday, December 20, 2003
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
A lucky goal helped extend Toronto’s franchise-record points streak.
Mats Sundin scored the go-ahead goal with 29 seconds left and the Maple Leafs registered at least a point for the 14th consecutive game with a 4-2 victory over with Montréal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Sundin’s wrist shot from the boards deflected off the stick of Montréal defenceman Francis Bouillon, and sailed over goalie José Théodore’s shoulder.
“The defenceman put his stick down, and it went right off his stick and in,” Sundin said.
Wade Belak scored Toronto’s tying goal in the third period, and Bryan McCabe added an empty-netter for the Maple Leafs, who are 12-0-1-1 during the streak.
“Sundin’s goal is a sign of how good things are going for us,” Belak said.
Toronto hasn’t lost in regulation since November 20 at Edmonton.
Belak, a defenceman known more for fighting, scored his first goal of the season at 8:31 of the third by skating toward the net and putting a rebound past Théodore.
Pierre Dagenais had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who had won their previous three games.
“We can call it whatever kind of a goal we want it to call it, whether it’s lucky or whatever, but they’ve been finding ways to win,” Montréal coach Andre Savard said. “For us, it’s a tough break. We deserved a better break.”
Dagenais gave Montréal a 1-0 lead on the power play with a slap shot from the circle at 8:59 of the first. Just as the puck went in, Toronto’s Bryan Marchment sent Dagenais to the ice with a hard check. Dagenais stayed down for several seconds and didn’t do much celebrating when he got up.
Tucker tied it at 3:10 of the second after Toronto’s Owen Nolan threaded a pass to the side of the net.
Mike Ribeiro put a rebound past Ed Belfour, giving Montréal a 2-1 lead at 1:05 of the third.
After Belak tied it, Montréal’s Andreas Dackell missed an open net midway through the third.
MTL PEN – 05:42 – Langdon, fighting major
TOR PEN – 05:42 – Belak, fighting major
TOR PEN – 07:13 – McCabe, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 08:59 – Dagenais (Markov)
MTL PEN – 16:11 – Dagenais, hooking
MTL PEN – 01:22 – Ribeiro, tripping
TOR PP GOAL – 03:10 – Tucker (Nolan, Jackman)
MTL PEN – 07:00 – Zednik, tripping
TOR PEN – 09:31 – Pilar, tripping
MTL PEN – 10:56 – Ryder, roughing
TOR PEN – 10:56 – Tucker, roughing
MTL PEN – 13:26 – Bulis, tripping
MTL GOAL – 01:05 – Ribeiro (Rivet, Dagenais)
MTL PEN – 05:37 – Koivu, hooking
TOR GOAL – 08:31 – Belak (Antropov, Nieuwendyk)
TOR GOAL – 19:31 – Sundin (Renberg, Pilar)
TOR EN GOAL – 19:59 – McCabe
TOR – Belfour (W, 19-21)
MTL – Théodore (L, 27-30)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 8+13+10 = 31
MTL – 8+7+6 = 21
TOR – Goaltenders: Ed Belfour, Trevor Kidd. Defence: Wade Belak, Ric Jackman, Ken Klee, Bryan Marchment, Bryan McCabe (A), Karel Pilar. Forwards: Nikolai Antropov, Tie Domi, Tom Fitzgerald, Joe Nieuwendyk, Owen Nolan, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Robert Reichel, Mikael Renberg, Gary Roberts (A), Matt Stajan, Mats Sundin (C), Darcy Tucker.
MTL – Goaltenders: Mathieu Garon, José Théodore. Defence: Francis Bouillon, Mike Komisarek, Andrei Markov, Stéphane Quintal, Craig Rivet (A), Sheldon Souray (A). Forwards: Jan Bulis, Andreas Dackell, Pierre Dagenais, Benoît Gratton, Joé Juneau, Chad Kilger, Saku Koivu (C), Darren Langdon, Mike Ribeiro, Michael Ryder, Niklas Sundstrom, Richard Zednik.
TOR – 19-6-6-3 (.691)
MTL – 15-14-4-1 (.515)
⭐ Joe Nieuwendyk (TOR)
⭐⭐ José Théodore (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Mats Sundin (TOR)