Game 677 – Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 1

Game 677
Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 1
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Maple Leafs extended their winning streak without their top player and number one goalie.

Bryan McCabe scored two power-play goals and assisted on another to help the Maple Leafs win their season-high fourth straight game, 5-1 over the rival Montréal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Tomas Kaberle, Matt Stajan and Nik Antropov also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won their last two games despite missing captain Mats Sundin (torn elbow ligament) and goalie Andrew Raycroft (strained groin).

Toronto outshot Montréal 41-26 and scored three power-play goals.

“We got scoring from all the lines and that’s what you need when your top player is out,” McCabe said.

Teams have paid close attention to McCabe on the power play all season, allowing Darcy Tucker and Kaberle to get most of Toronto’s points with the man advantage.

Kaberle, who also had two assists and leads all NHL defenceman with 17 points, said he’s benefited from the attention paid to McCabe.

“His guy stand beside him,” Kaberle said. “It opens it up for us.”

Saku Koivu scored for the Canadiens, who have lost two of three to Toronto. Montréal received five minor penalties in the second when Toronto took a 4-1 lead.

“That’s what killed us tonight. We really made it hard for ourself with those calls,” Koivu said.

Montréal defenceman Sheldon Souray said they were outplayed “from A to Z.”

“They just outworked us. We started losing battles to guys like Matt Stajan, guys that you wouldn’t expect that would to out-compete us, but they did,” Souray said.

Before the annual Hall of Fame game, “Miracle on Ice” coach Herb Brooks, Patrick Roy, former NHL player Dick Duff and Calgary Flames executive Harley Hotchkiss were honoured. They’ll be inducted Monday.

Toronto had a two-man power play in the first and McCabe took advantage with a hard one-timer past goalie David Aebischer at 11:21.

Koivu – alone in front of the net – redirected Guillaume Latendresse’s pass, tying it at 1 at 14:34 of the first.

Stajan, standing in front of the net, stopped the puck and put a shot past Aebischer at 9:27 of the second.

Aebischer robbed Darcy Tucker of a goal with a save in the second, but Kaberle quickly followed with a slap shot on the power play to give Toronto a 3-1 lead at 13:39.

After Antropov scored on a weak wrist shot at 17:33, Montréal coach Guy Carbonneau replaced Aebischer with Cristobal Huet. Aebischer allowed four goals on 28 shots.

“It was a huge game. We came out really strong despite all the injuries,” said goalie Jean-Sébastien Aubin, who made 25 saves.

McCabe’s hard slap shot made it 5-1 at 14:46 of the third.

Montréal centre Chris Higgins missed his second straight game because of a partially torn ligament in his right ankle.

NOTES: Sundin is expected to miss three to four weeks…Former Leafs coach Pat Quinn attended the game. Quinn was fired after Toronto missed the playoffs…Brooks led an Olympic team of college players from the United States to the greatest upset in hockey history, the “Miracle on Ice” victory over the mighty Soviet machine in the 1980 semifinals. The Americans went on to win the gold medal, their only one since 1960. Brooks died in a car accident in 2003. His son, Dan, attended the pregame ceremony…Roy won four Stanley Cup championships and three Vézina Trophies as the NHL’s top goalie in 19 seasons with Montréal and Colorado. He retired in 2003 as the league’s career leader with 551 regular-season victories. Duff won six Stanley Cups with Toronto and Montréal, and Hotchkiss was part of the group that moved the Flames to Calgary from Atlanta…Toronto’s Michael Peca didn’t return after being bloodied by a puck to the face in the second.

Story property of

1st Period
MTL PEN – 10:25 – Niinimaa, holding
MTL PEN – 10:43 – Souray, delay of game
TOR PP2 GOAL – McCabe (Kaberle, Wellwood)
MTL GOAL – Koivu (Latendresse, Rivet)
TOR PEN – 15:02 – Stajan, holding

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 04:10 – Streit, trpping
MTL PEN – 07:26 – Markov, delay of game
TOR GOAL – 09:27 – Stajan (Bell, Kaberle)
MTL PEN – 11:35 – Perezhogin, hooking
MTL PEN – 13:16 – Plekanec, tripping
TOR PP GOAL – 13:39 – Kaberle (McCabe, Wellwood)
TOR GOAL – 17:33 – Antropov (Kilger, Battaglia)
MTL PEN – 18:08 – Murray, slashing

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 11:45 – Gill, holding
MTL PEN – 14:14 – Bonk, hooking
TOR PP GOAL – 14:46 – McCabe (Wellwood, Ponikarovsky)

TOR – Aubin (W, 25-26)
MTL – Aebischer (L, 24-28), Huet (10-11)

TOR – 13+18+11 = 42
MTL – 9+5+12 = 26

TOR Goaltenders: Jean-Sébastien Aubin, Jean-François Racine. Defence: Wade Belak, Brendan Bell, Hal Gill, Tomas Kaberle (A), Bryan McCabe (A), Ian White. Forwards: Nikolai Antropov, Bates Battaglia, Chad Kilger, Jeff O’Neill, Michael Peca, John Pohl, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Matt Stajan, Alexander Steen, Alexander Suglobov, Darcy Tucker (A), Kyle Wellwood.
MTLGoaltenders: David Aebischer, Cristobal Huet. Defence: Mike Komisarek, Andrei Markov, Janne Niinimaa, Craig Rivet (A), Sheldon Souray (A), Mark Streit. Forwards: Steve Bégin, Radek Bonk, Aaron Downey, Mike Johnson, Saku Koivu (C), Alex Kovalev, Guillaume Latendresse, Garth Murray, Alexander Perezhogin, Tomas Plekanec, Michael Ryder, Sergei Samsonov.

TOR – 11-5-3 (.658)
MTL – 8-4-3 (.633)


Tomas Kaberle (TOR) and Saku Koivu (MTL)