Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
George Gillett sat down beside his 20-year-old goalie and chatted with him as though they were old friends.
“Good job,” the Montréal Canadiens owner said to Carey Price in the visitors’ dressing room at Air Canada Centre.
Price stopped 37 shots, and the Canadiens rallied for a 4-3 overtime win Tuesday night over the rival Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I just treated it like another game,” Price, shrugging his shoulders, said of his first career start against Toronto. “I’m happy we won but it’s really just another win.”
His calm demeanour is the same on and off the ice and his older teammates are impressed.
“I like his style,” said forward Alex Kovalev, who had a three-point night. “I like that kid. He’s so calm. he’s got a nice future.”
Price allowed the Canadiens to hang around in a game they had no business being in, outshot 40-25 by the Maple Leafs.
“Pricey made some huge saves, both our goalies have been huge for us all year,” said defenceman Mike Komisarek, who netted the winner in overtime.
Komisarek scored 35 seconds into overtime on a clear breakaway from his own blue line with the teams playing 3-on-3.
“I looked over my shoulder and saw it was just me and (goalie) Andrew Raycroft,” said Komisarek, who scored his second goal of the season. “I tried not to get too fancy.”
Komisarek intercepted Bryan McCabe’s errant pass at the Montréal blue line and skated in on a breakaway, beating Raycroft with a forehand deke between the pads to the delight of the many Canadiens fans in the Air Canada Centre.
“I had my chance and I jumped,” Komisarek said. “And the rest is history.”
Just moments earlier, McCabe nearly won the game but his blast was stopped by Price.
“I just tried to one-touch it to Nikky (Antropov),” McCabe said. “Five seconds earlier I could have been the hero. I had a great chance. But that’s how it goes.”
Kovalev, Andrei Kostitsyn and Andrei Markov also scored for the Canadiens, who beat the Maple Leafs for the first time this season in three tries (1-1-1).
“They beat us in our building last time so it was nice to beat them here in this building,” said Kovalev, who tallied his ninth of the season.
Kyle Wellwood had his first two goals of the season, and Boyd Devereaux also scored for the Maple Leafs, who gave up a 3-2 lead in the third period.
The teams took turns dominating in the opening two periods, Montréal coming out strong but found goalie Andrew Raycroft more than up to the challenge.
He couldn’t turn aside Markov’s shot during a 5-on-3 power play as Montréal took a 1-0 lead at 13:43.
The Leafs turned the table in the second, completely controlling the play. Wellwood tied it 2:01 into the period, flipping a shot over Price after a super rush from Jiri Tlusty. It was Wellwood’s first of the season.
Toronto kept pressing but Price made several dazzling saves, including during a 5-on-3 man advantage for the Leafs.
Wellwood finally beat him again with 1:34 to go in the second period, putting a rebound over a sprawled Price with 2 seconds left on a roughing penalty to Markov.
The Canadiens, however, came out charging on the very next shift. Alexei Kovalev set up a wide-open Kostitsyn, who one-timed a shot top corner and glove side at 19:09 to tie it 2-2.
The Leafs continued to press in the third period and went ahead at 9:44 when Ian White’s point shot was deflected by Devereaux.
Montréal tied it 3-3 at 13:58 when Tomas Plekanec went flying around the Leafs defence. From behind the net, he found Kovalev in the slot for a shot past Raycroft into the top corner. That gave Kovalev a three-point night.
Montréal veteran Bryan Smolinski left the game with a facial injury with 5:45 to go in the second period, but he returned in the third.
NOTES: The Canadiens lost rugged forward Garth Murray on waivers to Florida…The Leafs were without D Pavel Kubina (knee) and Carlo Colaiacovo (knee) while forwards Wade Belak, Chad Kilger and John Pohl were healthy scratches…D Staffan Kronwall, recalled from the AHL Toronto Marlies on Monday, played in his first NHL game of the season.
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MTL PEN – 02:05 – Markov, high sticking
MTL PEN – 09:06 – Bouillon, tripping
TOR PEN – 12:03 – McCabe, hooking
TOR PEN – 12:58 – Gill, delay of game
MTL PP GOAL – 13:43 – Markov (Smolinski, Kovalev)
TOR PEN – 15:34 – White, hooking
MTL PEN – 16:59 – Kovalev, holding
TOR GOAL – 02:01 – Wellwood (Tlusty, White)
MTL PEN – 11:10 – Bouillon, interference
MTL PEN – 11:56 – Markov, high sticking
MTL PEN – 16:28 – Markov, roughing
TOR PP GOAL – 18:26 – Wellwood (Sundin, McCabe)
MTL GOAL – 19:09 – Kostitsyn (Kovalev, Plekanec)
MTL PEN – 06:37 – Markov, delay of game
TOR GOAL – 09:44 – Devereaux (White, Bell)
MTL PEN – 10:37 – Komisarek, high sticking
TOR PEN – 10:37 – Tlusty, diving
MTL GOAL – 13:58 – Kovalev (Plekanec, Streit)
MTL PEN – 19:45 – Koivu, unsportsmanlike conduct
TOR PEN – 19:45 – Stajan, unsportsmanlike conduct
MTL GOAL – 00:35 – Komisarek
MTL – Price (W, 37-40)
TOR – Raycroft (OTL, 21-25)
SHOTS ON GOAL
MTL – 11+6+7+1 = 25
TOR – 13+15+11+1 = 40
MTL – Goaltenders: Cristobal Huet, Carey Price. Defence: Francis Bouillon, Patrice Brisebois, Mathieu Dandenault, Roman Hamrlik, Mike Komisarek, Andrei Markov, Mark Streit. Forwards: Steve Bégin, Kyle Chipchura, Christopher Higgins (A), Saku Koivu (C), Andrei Kostitsyn, Tom Kostopoulos, Alex Kovalev (A), Guillaume Latendresse, Tomas Plekanec, Michael Ryder, Bryan Smolinski.
TOR – Goaltenders: Andrew Raycroft, Vesa Toskala. Defence: Hal Gill, Tomas Kaberle (A), Staffan Kronwall, Bryan McCabe (A), Ian White, Andrew Wozniewski. Forwards: Nikolai Antropov, Bates Battaglia, Mark Bell, Jason Blake, Boyd Devereaux, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Matt Stajan, Alexander Steen, Mats Sundin (C), Jiri Tlusty, Darcy Tucker, Kyle Wellwood.
⭐ Alex Kovalev (MTL)
⭐⭐ Kyle Wellwood (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Mike Komisarek (MTL)