Preseason Game 47 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1 (OT)

Preseason Game 47
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1 (OT)
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Centre Bell, Montréal, Québec

Jake Gardiner already likes the NHL’s new overtime format.

The Leafs were only 16 seconds into a 4-on-3 overtime advantage when Gardiner scored the winner to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 2-1 victory over the Montréal Canadiens in NHL preseason play on Tuesday night.

The teams were supposed to be playing 3-against-3, but Montréal’s Devante Smith-Pelly took a tripping penalty with 37 seconds left in regulation time. In that situation, instead of playing 3-on-2, the teams go four against three.

“It’s exciting as it is,” said Gardiner. “It’s great for the league, especially when you can start on the power play. You’re pretty much expected to score.”

Gardiner also set up a pretty goal by William Nylander on a 2-on-1 in regulation time to tie the game after Michael McCarron scored in the first frame for Montréal.

Toronto coach Mike Babcock said Gardiner was “our best player by a mile,” and also had praise for Nylander, Nikita Soshnikov and young defencemen Travis Dermott and Andrew Neilson, among others.

“It’s not an NHL game, but our guys hung in there and we found a way to win in Montréal,” Babcock said.

In overtime, Gardiner took a feed from Brad Boyes and lifted a shot over Zach Fucale from close range.

McCarron broke alone to pick up a ricochet of Jeff Petry’s shot into the slot and beat Antoine Bibeau 15:45 into the first frame.

Nylander was Toronto’s most dangerous forward all game and he was rewarded with 29 seconds left in the second period when he went in on a two-on-one, fed Gardiner and got the pass back for a tap-in goal on Fucale.

“He created a lot of space for me and he didn’t swing to the corner, he went to the net,” Gardiner said of Nylander. “It was a good play by him, a goal-scorer’s goal.

“When you see a young guy doing that it’s pretty good.”

In regulation time, Carey Price started for Montréal and stopped all his 11 shots. Fucale allowed two on 16 shots.

Bibeau gave up one goal on 14 shots, while Garret Sparks blanked the Canadiens on seven.

The Leafs, who won two split-squad exhibition games against Ottawa on Monday, started the minimum seven NHL players while Montréal had 10.

“I thought it was an average hockey game,” said Babcock. “We looked like a team out of gas. It will be great to have a day off.”

“We have to see how we can narrow (the training camp roster) down. We need two teams, not three.”

Story property of, photo property of Sportsnet

1st Period
MTL PEN – 03:19 – de la Rose, holding
TOR PEN – 13:07 – Holland, hooking
MTL GOAL – 15:45 – McCarron (Petry)
MTL PEN – 17:51 – Mitchell, high sticking

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:54 – Arcobello, tripping
MTL PEN – 11:23 – Tinordi, cross checking
TOR GOAL – 19:31 – Nylander (Gardiner)

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 10:43 – Emelin, interference
MTL PEN – 19:23 – Smith-Pelly, tripping

TOR PP GOAL – 00:16 – Gardiner (Boyes, Holland)

TOR – Bibeau (13-14), Sparks (W, 7-7)
MTL – Price (11-11), Fucale (L, 14-16)

TOR – 9+6+11+1 = 27
MTL – 10+6+5+0 = 21

TORGoaltenders: Antoine Bibeau, Garret Sparks. Defence: Andrew Campbell, Travis Dermott, Mark Fraser, Jake Gardiner (A), Scott Harrington, Andrew Nielsen. Forwards: Mark Arcobello, Casey Bailey, Brad Boyes, Matt Frattin, Frédérik Gauthier, Peter Holland (A), Leo Komarov (A), Josh Leivo, Mitchell Marner, William Nylander, Nikita Soshnikov, Dmytro Timashov.
MTLGoaltenders: Zach Fucale, Carey Price. Defence: Mark Barberio, Darren Dietz, Alexei Emelin, Greg Pateryn, Jeff Petry (A), Jarred Tinordi. Forwards: Sven Andrighetto, Tim Bozon, Daniel Carr, Jacob de la Rose, Gabriel Dumont, Brendan Gallagher (A), Zack Kassian, Michael McCarron, Torrey Mitchell, Tomas Plekanec (A), Devante Smith-Pelly, Christian Thomas.