Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 2 (SO)
Saturday, October 7, 2006
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Michael Ryder gave his coach his first NHL victory by listening to his teammates.
Ryder scored in a shootout to give the Montréal Canadiens a 3-2 comeback victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Sheldon Souray and Mike Johnson scored in regulation for the Canadiens, who lost their season-opener in a shootout at Buffalo on Friday night by squandering a two-goal lead with 8 minutes remaining.
Ryder tried a deke but failed to score in the shootout in Friday’s loss.
He beat Toronto goalie Andrew Raycroft top corner glove side for the win.
“Last night I tried the deke and I didn’t have that much success,” Ryder said. “Guys were telling me to shoot and I defintely was going to shoot.”
A loud cheer could be heard in Montréal’s locker room after the game. Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau smiled when reminded of it in his postgame interview.
“I’ve waited a long time for his opportunity,” Carbonneau said. “I’m just glad it didn’t take a couple of weeks to get that first win.”
The two Original Six rivals played the first of eight games against each other.
Montréal looked sluggish early, before rallying to tie it in the third period on former Leaf Mike Johnson’s goal at 6:44 of the third.
Johnson, who is from Toronto, had 20 family and friends in the stands.
“I have fair-weather friends. They cheer who I play for,” Johnson joked.
After Toronto’s Mats Sundin and Montréal’s Chad Higgins scored in the shootout, the Maple Leafs’ next three shooters were stopped and the Canadiens’ next two didn’t score before Ryder got the winner.
“To get that first win for Carbo is exciting, especially here in Toronto,” Ryder said. “The fans are always up for these games. It’s a great win. We’re going to enjoy it.”
Darcy Tucker and Matt Stajan scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs, who lost in a shootout in their season opener on Wednesday night against Ottawa.
Toronto rebounded with a 6-0 victory over the Senators on Thursday.
The Maple Leafs jumped out to a 2-1 lead against Montréal and had a number of chances to run up the score, but couldn’t capitalize.
“We just missed the net too many times,” Toronto coach Paul Maurice said.
The Canadiens repeatedly had trouble getting the puck out of their own zone in the first two periods. However, they took the early lead on Souray’s one-timer from the blue line at 5:11 of the first.
Tucker, left unchecked at the side of the net, scored on the power play at 9:28 of the first by converting Kyle Wellwood’s pass. Wellwood tied a career-high with four points in Thursday’s victory and Tucker scored twice in the blowout.
After Alexei Ponikarovsky and Stajan put a flurry of shots on goalie David Aebischer in the second, Stajan scored on a rebound at 4:38 of the second.
Jeff O’Neill missed a good chance to give Toronto an insurance goal early in the third as he couldn’t elevate the puck after Ponikarovsky made a centering pass.
“We didn’t capitalize on those chances,” Toronto’s Pavel Kubina said. “We had a lot of chances.”
After a Toronto turnover, Johnson converted Alexander Perezhogin’s centering pass at 6:44 of the third. Montréal fans cheered the tying goal as Johnson fell backward after scoring it.
Maple Leafs goalie Andrew Raycroft made a sprawling save midway through the third to prevent Radek Bonk from scoring. Raycroft also made an impressive pad save on Saku Koivu’s one-timer with 5:30 left in the third.
NOTES: Toronto defenceman Andy Wozniewski didn’t return after suffering a shoulder injury on his first shift. Maurice called it a “significant injury” but didn’t say how long he’ll be out. He’ll be reevaluated Sunday. Wozniewski collided with a Montréal player…Ponikarovsky sent Montréal’s Chris Higgins to the ice with a check in the second.
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TOR PEN – 04:29 – Kilger, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – Souray (Markov, Kovalev)
MTL PEN – 06:33 – Ryder, holding
MTL PEN – 08:50 – Dandenault, interference
TOR PP GOAL – 09:28 – Tucker (Wellwood, Sundin)
TOR PEN – 09:54 – Peca, interference
MTL PEN – 19:10 – Plekanec, interference
MTL PEN – 02:31 – Dandenault, tripping
TOR GOAL – 04:38 – Stajan (Ponikarovsky, O’Neill)
TOR PEN – 11:55 – Tucker, roughing
MTL PEN – 01:26 – Komisarek, slashing
MTL GOAL – Johnson (Perezhogin)
TOR PEN – 13:24 – Battaglia, hooking
TOR PEN – 15:56 – Sundin, hooking
MTL PEN – 02:01 – Samsonov, hooking
TOR PEN – 03:46 – Tucker, interference
TOR GOAL – Sundin
MTL GOAL – Higgins
TOR SAVE – Wellwood
MTL MISS – Koivu
TOR MISS – Tucker
MTL MISS – Kovalev
TOR MISS – Ponikarovsky
MTL GOAL – Ryder
MTL – Aebischer (W, 36-38)
TOR – Raycroft (OTL, 31-33)
SHOTS ON GOAL
MTL – 12+8+12+1 = 33
TOR – 11+12+9+6 = 38
MTL – Goaltenders: David Aebischer, Cristobal Huet. Defence: Mathieu Dandenault, Mike Komisarek, Andrei Markov, Janne Niinimaa, Craig Rivet (A), Sheldon Souray (A). Forwards: Steve Bégin, Radek Bonk, Christopher Higgins, Mike Johnson, Saku Koivu (C), Alex Kovalev, Guillaume Latendresse, Garth Murray, Alexander Perezhogin, Tomas Plekanec, Michael Ryder, Sergei Samsonov.
TOR – Goaltenders: Jean-Sébastien Aubin, Andrew Raycroft. Defence: Wade Belak, Hal Gill, Tomas Kaberle (A), Pavel Kubina, Bryan McCabe (A), Ian White, Andrew Wozniewski. Forwards: Bates Battaglia, Chad Kilger, Jeff O’Neill, Michael Peca, John Pohl, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Matt Stajan, Alexander Steen, Mats Sundin (C), Darcy Tucker, Kyle Wellwood.
MTL – 1-0-1 (.750)
TOR – 1-1-1 (.500)
⭐ Sheldon Souray (MTL)
⭐⭐ Andrew Raycroft (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Mike Johnson (MTL)