Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 0
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
Curtis McElhinney made 33 saves to help the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-0 win against the Montréal Canadiens at Air Canada Centre on Saturday.
Toronto (43-22-7), which has won four in a row, trails the Boston Bruins by five points for second place in the Atlantic Division; the Bruins hold two games in hand.
Andreas Johnsson scored his first NHL goal and William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen and Nazem Kadri scored for the Maple Leafs, who extended their home winning streak to 12 games.
“It was great. One of the scouting things prior to the game was that they go to the net and that they have a lot of traffic in front, so I thought we did a great job overall,” said McElhinney, who got his third shutout of the season. “Outside of a few opportunities in the first period, I thought our guys were phenomenal in front of the net.”
Charlie Lindgren made 45 saves for the Canadiens (26-34-12), who are 1-5-2 in their past eight games.
“I felt good tonight. Obviously, they were throwing a lot of pucks to the net,” Lindgren said. “Especially in the second period, they came really hard and generated a lot of scoring chances. They had a really good effort tonight and unfortunately we came out on the wrong side.”
Nylander ended his 13-game goal drought when he scored on the power play at 16:01 of the first period to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead.
Kapanen made it 2-0 at 3:00 of the second period when he took a pass from Travis Dermott and beat Lindgren on a breakaway.
Kapanen thought he scored again at 15:06, but the Canadiens won a challenge for goaltender inference.
But the Maple Leafs made it 3-0 at 19:31 when Kadri deflected a pass from Mitchell Marner in the slot on a power play.
“The first wasn’t terrible, but the second (period) we were on our heels, they controlled the play,” Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher said. “The penalty kill gives up two goals and we just didn’t do enough to play in the other end. It’s a little bit disappointing. As of late we’d been doing the little things to win, and tonight we got away from that and got the result that we deserved.”
Johnsson scored at 15:27 of the third period to make it 4-0 when he took a pass from Zach Hyman at the side of the net and put it over Lindgren’s blocker.
“Pure happiness, such a rush. I didn’t really expect that I’m going to score, but when it happens, it’s a total rush,” Johnsson said. “I don’t know what I thought, but it was something like, ‘Oh my god, it’s in.’ It was just pure happiness.”
NOTES: McElhinney had the secondary assist on the goal; it was his first point since December 17, 2015, and fourth of his NHL career…Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau played in his 1,565th NHL game, passing Nicklas Lidstrom for 11th on the all-time list…Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock is hopeful forward Auston Matthews (shoulder) and goalie Frederik Andersen (upper body) will be able to play at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
MTL PEN – 14:32 – Galchenyuk, delay of game
TOR PP GOAL – 16:01 – Nylander (Gardiner)
TOR GOAL – 03:00 – Kapanen (Dermott, McElhinney)
MTL PEN – 08:13 – Alzner, holding
MTL PEN – 18:36 – McCarron, high sticking
TOR PP GOAL – 19:31 – Kadri (Marner, Rielly)
MTL PEN – 07:22 – Deslauriers, slashing
TOR PEN – 07:37 – Bozak, tripping
TOR GOAL – 15:27 – Johnsson (Hyman, Carrick)
TOR – McElhinney (W, 33-33)
MTL – Lindgren (L, 45-49)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 13+26+10 = 49
MTL – 11+9+13 = 33
TOR – Goaltenders: Curtis McElhinney, Garret Sparks. Defence: Connor Carrick, Travis Dermott, Jake Gardiner, Ron Hainsey, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly (A). Forwards: Tyler Bozak (A), Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Andreas Johnsson, Nazem Kadri, Kasperi Kapanen, Patrick Marleau (A), Mitchell Marner, Dominic Moore, William Nylander, Tomas Plekanec, James van Riemsdyk.
MTL – Goaltenders: Charlie Lindgren, Antti Niemi. Defence: Karl Alzner, Jordie Benn, Noah Juulsen, Brett Lernout, Jeff Petry (A), Mike Reilly. Forwards: Paul Byron (A), Daniel Carr, Jacob de la Rose, Nicolas Deslauriers, Jonathan Drouin, Byron Froese, Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher (A), Charles Hudon, Artturi Lehkonen, Michael McCarron, Nikita Scherbak, Logan Shaw.
⭐ Curtis McElhinney (TOR)
⭐⭐ Andreas Johnsson (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ William Nylander (TOR)