Game 666 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3

Game 666
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3
Saturday, March 13, 2004
Centre Bell, Montréal, Québec

Yanic Perreault and the Montréal Canadiens got the upper hand in the latest renewal of the NHL’s oldest rivalry.

Perreault scored midway through the third period to lift the Canadiens to a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Michael Ryder scored late in the second to draw Montréal even for the second time in the period at 3-3.

Richard Zednik, who scored his 25th of the season to tie it at 2, set up the go-ahead goal to the delight of the majority in the sellout crowd of 21,273.

Zednik rushed down the left side before passing to Perreault, who drove the net and lifted a shot over Ed Belfour for his 14th goal at 9:33.

“There was a lot of intensity, a lot of emotion going on,” Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said. “When you’re able to come from behind and win the game with the atmosphere like we had tonight, it is a great night. And for our confidence, winning against a team that’s ahead of us is a good thing.”

José Théodore made 22 saves, and Mike Ribeiro also scored for Montréal, which has points in 10 of 11 games (9-1-0-1).

Matt Stajan, Joe Nieuwendyk and Drake Berehowsky scored for Toronto, which was unbeaten in seven games in Montréal.

Newly acquired Maple Leafs centre Ron Francis was impressed by the atmosphere in the Bell Centre, which included plenty of support for the visitors.

“It was awesome,” said Francis, who assisted on Stajan’s goal for his first point in two games with the Maple Leafs. “It reminded me of an English soccer match with everything going on in the stands. It was a great atmosphere. It’s just too bad we didn’t come away with a win.”

The Maple Leafs, losers of three of four, have 88 points and trail Boston for the Northeast Division lead by three.

“I don’t like how we’re playing right now,” Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. “Our big line didn’t have a sniff all night. They played against their checking line and got nothing because they didn’t work for it.”

The Canadiens, who have missed the playoffs four of the last five seasons, tied New Jersey for sixth in the Eastern Conference with 85 points.

“The intensity was really high,” Perreault said. “We’re trying to improve our ranking. The Leafs are one of the top teams in the league and it was a big challenge for us. To be able to show that we can play.”

Ribeiro opened the scoring with his 19th goal 6:38 in when he swept across the goal mouth to beat Belfour.

Newly acquired Maple Leafs centre Ron Francis set up Stajan’s 14th at 10:21 for his first Toronto point.

Nieuwendyk scored his 17th just 1:13 into the second to put Toronto up 2-1 before Zednik tied it again with his 25th at 9:28.

Berehowsky finished off a two-on-one with Alex Mogilny at 12:19 to put the Maple Leafs ahead again.

Ryder got his 21st at 17:43 when he scored on a second-effort shot, wristing the puck past Belfour inside the right post.

Story property of

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 06:38 – Ribeiro (Ryder, Komisarek)

TOR PEN – 08:15 – Domi, fighting major
MTL PEN – 08:15 – Langdon, fighting major
TOR GOAL – 10:21 – Stajan (Francis, Nolan)
TOR PEN – 11:32 – Belak, roughing
MTL PEN – 11:32 – Brisebois, roughing
TOR PEN – 15:56 – Stajan, holding
MTL PEN – 18:31 – Quintal, interference

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 01:13 – Nieuwendyk (Ponikarovsky, Antropov)
TOR PEN – 05:03 – Leetch, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 09:28 – Zednik (Koivu, Perreault)
TOR PEN – 10:12 – Belak, roughing
MTL PEN – 10:12 – Langdon, roughing
TOR GOAL – 12:19 – Berehowsky (Mogilny, Nieuwendyk)
TOR PEN – 13:02 – Marchment, interference
MTL GOAL – 17:43 – Ryder (Ribeiro, Bouillon)

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 09:33 – Perreault (Zednik, Komisarek)
TOR PEN – 16:33 – Nieuwendyk, roughing
MTL PEN – 16:33 – Bouillon, roughing
TOR PEN – 20:00 – Leetch, high sticking

MTL – Théodore (W, 22-25)
TOR – Belfour (L, 25-29)

MTL – 11+13+5 = 29
TOR – 9+8+8 = 25

MTLGoaltenders: Mathieu Garon, José Théodore. Defence: Francis Bouillon, Patrice Brisebois, Mike Komisarek, Andrei Markov, Stéphane Quintal, Craig Rivet (A). Forwards: Steve Bégin, Andreas Dackell, Jim Dowd, Joé Juneau, Saku Koivu (C), Alex Kovalev, Darren Langdon, Yanic Perreault, Mike Ribeiro, Michael Ryder, Jason Ward, Richard Zednik.
TORGoaltenders: Ed Belfour, Trevor Kidd. Defence: Drake Berehowsky, Aki Berg, Tomas Kaberle, Brian Leetch, Bryan Marchment, Bryan McCabe (A). Forwards: Nikolai Antropov, Wade Belak, Tie Domi, Ron Francis, Alexander Mogilny, Joe Nieuwendyk, Owen Nolan, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Robert Reichel, Gary Roberts (A), Matt Stajan, Mats Sundin (C).

MTL – 38-26-6-3 (.582)
TOR – 38-22-9-3 (.611)


Richard Zednik (MTL)
⭐⭐ Michael Ryder (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Yanic Perreault (MTL)