Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 1
Saturday, January 24, 2004
Centre Bell, Montréal, Québec
The Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans made themselves right at home in Montréal.
Bryan McCabe, Joe Nieuwendyk and Mikael Renberg scored second-period goals in the Eastern Conference-leading Maple Leafs’ 4-1 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday night.
“A lot of people who can’t get into games in Toronto make the trip here. It was an exciting night,” Toronto coach Pat Quinn said.
Mats Sundin added a third-period goal and also had an assist to help the Maple Leafs win their third straight game and take a 3-1 lead in the season series against Montréal.
“It’s like a playoff atmosphere and we always get up for these games,” Sundin said. “It’s the same when we’re at home and there’s a lot of Montréal fans.”
“You can tell when you come out for the warmup that there’s a different atmosphere. There was energy in the building.”
Toronto goalie Ed Belfour made 14 saves to tie Tony Esposito for fourth place on the career victory list with 423. Belfour is 423-276-110 in 16 seasons with Chicago, San Jose, Dallas and Toronto. Patrick Roy tops the list with 551 victories.
Richard Zednik scored for the Canadiens, coming off a 2-0 loss in New Jersey on Friday night. Montréal had lost only one of its previous 11 games before falling to the Devils.
“There’s no doubt they had the advantage of being rested, but that’s the schedule,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “I thought we did a decent job of staying with them in the first half, but we couldn’t keep up with them in the second half.”
The Canadiens opened the scoring midway through the second period when a point shot went off Mike Ribeiro’s skate to Zednik, who had plenty of time to shoot over Belfour.
Just under two minutes later, McCabe beat Montréal goalie José Théodore with a one-timer from the point.
Nieuwendyk took a drop pass from Nik Antropov in the slot and scored on a wrist shot under the crossbar with 5:24 left, and Sundin won a battle for the puck with Andrei Markov to feed Renberg in the slot with 16 seconds left in the period.
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MTL PEN – 13:54 – Koivu, interference
TOR PEN – 01:19 – Antropov, interference
MTL GOAL – 09:25 – Zednik (Ribeiro, Brisebois)
TOR GOAL – 11:20 – McCabe (Kaberle)
TOR GOAL – 14:36 – Nieuwendyk (Antropov, Ponikarovsky)
TOR GOAL – 19:44 – Renberg (Sundin)
MTL PEN – 06:14 – Sundstrom, interference
TOR PEN – 11:18 – Ponikarovsky, tripping
TOR GOAL – 13:29 – Sundin (Stajan, Ponikarovsky)
TOR – Belfour (W, 14-15)
MTL – Théodore (L, 21-25)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 6+13+6 = 25
MTL – 5+6+4 = 15
TOR – Goaltenders: Ed Belfour, Trevor Kidd. Defence: Aki Berg, Tomas Kaberle, Ken Klee, Bryan Marchment, Bryan McCabe (A), Karel Pilar. Forwards: Nikolai Antropov, Tie Domi, Craig Johnson, Joe Nieuwendyk, Nathan Perrott, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Robert Reichel, Mikael Renberg, Gary Roberts (A), Matt Stajan, Mats Sundin (C), Clarke Wilm.
MTL – Goaltenders: Mathieu Garon, José Théodore. Defence: Francis Bouillon, Patrice Brisebois, Andrei Markov, Stéphane Quintal, Craig Rivet (A), Sheldon Souray (A). Forwards: Jozef Balej, Jan Bulis, Pierre Dagenais, Joé Juneau, Chad Kilger, Saku Koivu (C), Darren Langdon, Yanic Perreault, Mike Ribeiro, Michael Ryder, Niklas Sundstrom, Richard Zednik.
TOR – 27-12-8-3 (.650)
MTL – 24-18-6-2 (.560)
⭐ Joe Nieuwendyk (TOR)
⭐⭐ Ed Belfour (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Bryan McCabe (TOR)