Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 4
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Mikael Tellqvist is doing his best to stick with the Toronto Maple Leafs when injured starter Ed Belfour returns.
Tellqvist remained undefeated, and Matt Stajan and Tom Fitzgerald scored and added assists in Toronto’s 5-4 victory over the Montréal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Tellqvist made 27 saves to improve to 5-0-2 this season. The 24-year-old rookie is making a strong case to remain the backup when Belfour returns from the back injury that has forced him to miss eight of the last nine games.
Regular backup Trevor Kidd is 1-3-1 while allowing 22 goals in his last five starts. Tellqvist looked strong in the first two periods, but struggled in the third. Toronto nearly blew a 4-0 second-period lead.
“The other night was probably my best performance,” said Tellqvist, who made 34 saves in a victory over Carolina on Thursday night. “It’s hard to rate this performance. I felt comfortable the first two periods, then I let a bad goal in and after that they got on a roll.”
Tellqvist said it’s too early to tell whether he’s won the job.
“It’s hard to say whether I’ve earned it or not. Of course, I want to be here. It’s everybody’s dream to play at this level,” he said.
Nik Antropov, Joe Nieuwendyk and Mats Sundin also scored for the Maple Leafs.
Pierre Dagenais, Steve Bégin, Francis Bouillon and Michael Ryder scored for the Canadiens, who have lost five of six.
“We just didn’t come to play for 20 minutes and we lost the game in that 20 minutes,” Montréal’s Craig Rivet said.
Bouillon’s slap shot from the boards cut Toronto’s lead to 4-3 midway through the third, but Sundin scored on a two-on-one with Alexander Mogilny with 2:46 left.
Ryder cut it to 5-4 with 50 seconds remaining, but the Canadiens couldn’t score with an extra attacker in the dying seconds.
José Théodore replaced Mathieu Garon in net after Garon allowed three goals on 11 shots. Garon had won his previous four starts while Théodore had lost four straight.
Toronto’s Alexei Ponikarovsky stole the puck from defenceman Michael Komisarek before passing the puck to Antropov, who put his own rebound past Garon at 5:19 of the first.
Montréal couldn’t get the puck out of their zone before Stajan made a behind the net pass to Fitzgerald, whose one-timer gave Toronto a 2-0 at 10:56 of the first.
Théodore replaced Garon after Stajan scored on a breakaway by putting the puck between Garon’s pads at 17:37 of the second.
Théodore replaced Garon, but Nieuwendyk scored on a power play to give Toronto a 4-0 lead at 11:40 of the second.
Dagenais scored on a one-timer in the second.
Tellqvist allowed a weak goal in the third when Bégin scored on a slap shot from the blue line, cutting the lead to 4-2 at 3:07.
“That was a bad goal. You can call it that,” Tellqvist said. “Nine times out of 10 I make the save.”
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MTL PEN – 00:54 – Zednik, hooking
TOR GOAL – 05:19 – Antropov (Ponikarovsky)
TOR GOAL – 10:56 – Fitzgerald (Stajan, Kaberle)
TOR GOAL – 17:37 – Stajan (Fitzgerald)
MTL PEN – 02:31 – Rivet, roughing
TOR PEN – 02:31 – Marchment, roughing
MTL PEN – 04:37 – Rivet, fighting major
TOR PEN – 04:37 – Marchment, fighting major
TOR PEN – 05:35 – McCabe, slashing
MTL PEN -11:21 – Brisebois, interference
TOR PP GOAL – 11:40 – Nieuwendyk (Sundin, McCabe)
MTL PEN – 12:44 – team, too many men on the ice
MTL GOAL – 15:20 – Dagenais (Koivu, Bulis)
MTL GOAL – 03:07 – Bégin (Sundstrom, Komisarek)
MTL PEN – 07:33 – Brisebois, slashing
TOR PEN – 08:30 – McCabe, holding
MTL GOAL – 10:42 – Bouillon (Bulis, Ribeiro)
TOR GOAL – 17:14 – Sundin (Mogilny, Renberg)
MTL EA GOAL – 19:10 – Ryder (Ribeiro, Brisebois)
TOR – Tellqvist (W, 27-31)
MTL – Garon (8-11), Théodore (L, 12-14)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 12+8+5 = 25
MTL – 9+12+10 = 31
TOR – Goaltenders: Trevor Kidd, Mikael Tellqvist. Defence: Aki Berg, Tomas Kaberle, Ken Klee, Bryan Marchment, Bryan McCabe (A), Karel Pilar. Forwards: Nikolai Antropov, Tie Domi, Tom Fitzgerald, Alexander Mogilny, Joe Nieuwendyk, Owen Nolan, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Robert Reichel, Mikael Renberg, Matt Stajan, Mats Sundin (C), Darcy Tucker.
MTL – Goaltenders: Mathieu Garon, José Théodore. Defence: Francis Bouillon, Patrice Brisebois, Karl Dykhuis, Mike Komisarek, Stéphane Quintal, Craig Rivet (A). Forwards: Steve Bégin, Jan Bulis, Andreas Dackell, Pierre Dagenais, Joé Juneau, Saku Koivu (C), Yanic Perreault, Mike Ribeiro, Michael Ryder, Niklas Sundstrom, Jason Ward, Richard Zednik.
TOR – 34-16-9-3 (.645)
MTL – 29-25-6-2 (.532)
⭐ Matt Stajan (TOR)
⭐⭐ Tom Fitzgerald (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Mats Sundin (TOR)