Game 667 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 4

Game 667
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 4
Saturday, October 8, 2005
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Mike Ribeiro made up for three missed scoring chances.

Ribeiro scored with 4:27 left to help the Montréal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Saturday night for their third straight road victory of the season and first 3-0-0 start in 27 years.

“I was 1-for-4 on scoring chances,” Ribeiro said. “It’s about time I finally scored. We showed some character tonight, we lost the lead twice in the game and came back. And (captain) Saku (Koivu) really showed why he’s a leader.”

Ribeiro, standing alone beside the net, tapped in a cross-ice pass from defenceman Andrei Markov for the winner.

“It was an exciting game,” Montréal coach Claude Julien said. “We had a lot of mental errors, we looked tired at times. But we found a way to come back and score some big goals. That showed character and determination.”

Koivu set up the tying goal with 6:56 remaining, skating around the Leafs’ zone at will before taking a shot that was stopped by Ed Belfour, only for Steve Bégin to pop in the rebound.

“It’s something to build on,” Koivu said. “We have a young team and a lot of rookies. For us to win games late is really something for our confidence. We’re not quitting. We’re not playing our best but we’re finding a way.”

Sheldon Souray, Alexander Perezhogin and Niklas Sundstrom also scored for the Canadiens in only their third victory at Air Canada Centre. Koivu and Alexei Kovalev added two assists apiece for Montréal, which last opened with three wins in 1978-79.

Toronto defencemen Aki Berg and Wade Belak were on the ice for the tying and winning goals.

“Our defensive zone coverage cost us the other night (against Ottawa) and it cost us tonight,” Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. “It’s an area that clearly we’re not handling very well right now. We were losing battles for loose pucks, we weren’t strong in our end.”

The Canadiens gave up a 3-2 lead in the third period on goals by Matt Stajan and Nik Antropov and were staring at their first defeat of the season before Bégin and Ribeiro scored 2:29 apart to take two points from the Maple Leafs.

Alexander Steen scored his first NHL goal for Toronto, and Tie Domi also scored for the Maple Leafs, playing without injured captain Mats Sundin (fractured orbital bone).

NOTES: Koivu played in his 500th career game…The Canadiens outshot Toronto 25-20…Montréal was 2-for-4 on the power play, while Toronto was 1-for-6.

Story property of

1st Period
MTL PEN – 01:29 – Bonk, tripping
MTL PEN – 02:57 – Souray, delay of game
TOR PEN – 10:52 – Ponikarovsky, high sticking double minor

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 02:51 – Ribeiro, tripping
MTL PEN – 04:38 – Bouillon, hooking
TOR PEN – 07:21 – Berg, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 08:57 – Perezhogin (Koivu, Kovalev)
TOR GOAL – 11:29 – Steen
TOR GOAL – 12:39 – Domi (Kilger, Wellwood)
MTL GOAL – 13:16 – Sundstrom (Bonk, Bulis)
TOR PEN – 14:22 – Kaberle, hooking
MTL PP GOAL – 14:50 – Souray (Kovalev, Streit)
MTL PEN – 15:41 – Bonk, hooking

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 01:18 – team, too many men on the ice
TOR PP GOAL – 02:27 – Stajan (Lindros, Klee)
TOR GOAL – 10:38 – Antropov (Lindros)
MTL GOAL – 13:04 – Bégin (Koivu)
MTL GOAL – 15:33 – Ribeiro (Markov, Higgins)

MTL – Théodore (W, 16-20)
TOR – Belfour (L, 20-25)

MTL – 5+7+13 = 25
TOR – 4+7+9 = 20

MTLGoaltenders: Yann Danis, José Théodore. Defence: Francis Bouillon, Mathieu Dandenault, Raitis Ivanans, Andrei Markov, Craig Rivet (A), Sheldon Souray, Mark Streit. Forwards: Steve Bégin, Radek Bonk, Jan Bulis, Christopher Higgins, Saku Koivu (C), Alex Kovalev, Alexander Perezhogin, Tomas Plekanec, Mike Ribeiro, Michael Ryder, Niklas Sundstrom.
TORGoaltenders: Ed Belfour, Mikael Tellqvist. Defence: Wade Belak, Aki Berg, Tomas Kaberle (A), Alexander Khavanov, Ken Klee, Bryan McCabe (A). Forwards: Jason Allison, Nikolai Antropov, Mariusz Czerkawski, Tie Domi, Chad Kilger, Eric Lindros, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Matt Stajan, Alexander Steen, Darcy Tucker, Kyle Wellwood, Clarke Wilm.

MTL – 3-0-0 (1.000)
TOR – 0-1-1 (.250)


Saku Koivu (MTL)
⭐⭐ Eric Lindros (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Alex Kovalev (MTL)