Preseason Game 53 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 1

Preseason Game 53
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 1
Monday, September 24, 2018
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario

Xavier Ouellet and Artturi Lehkonen each scored twice as the Montréal Canadiens defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 in pre-season play on Monday.

Charles Hudon had the other goal for Montréal, which picked up its fourth victory in five exhibition outings. Antti Niemi made 29 stops for the Canadiens, while rookie centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi continued to impress in his bid to make the club with an assist and a plus-3 rating. Joel Armia added two assists.

Kasperi Kapanen replied for Toronto as the Leafs lost for the first time in five pre-season game. Garret Sparks got the start for Toronto, allowing five goals on 36 shots. Sparks is in a battle with Curtis McElhinney and Calvin Pickard to be the backup to Leafs number one netminder Frederik Andersen, but did little to help his cause.

Both teams dressed lineups at Scotiabank Arena filled heavily with players destined for the American Hockey League this season.

With the likes of Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Patrick Marleau and Nazem Kadri sitting out, the Leafs’ projected fourth line on opening night of Kapanen, Par Lindholm and Andreas Johnsson was given top billing.

Montréal left Carey Price, Brendan Gallagher, Jonathan Drouin and Tomas Tatar at home, but Kotkaniemi got another look as the club continues to debate what to do with the number three pick from June’s NHL draft — keep the 18-year-old centre, send him to the AHL or return him to his Finnish club.

Story property of CBC, photo property of SB Nation

1st Period
MTL PEN – 06:02 – Froese, tripping
MTL GOAL – 10:17 – Lehkonen (Kotkaniemi)
MTL GOAL – 12:38 – Ouellet (Lernout, Armia)
TOR PEN – 12:57 – Marincin, interference
TOR PEN – 19:28 – Brooks, roughing
MTL PEN – 19:28 – Moravcik, roughing

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 00:34 – Kapanen (Marincin)
MTL GOAL – 04:28 – Ouellet (Armia, Chaput)
MTL GOAL – 05:54 – Hudon (Valiev, Niemi)
MTL PEN – 06:13 – Moravcik, slashing
MTL GOAL – 14:57 – Lehkonen (Peca)
MTL PEN – 15:39 – Froese, interference
MTL PEN – 16:27 – Ouellet, delay of game

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 04:02 – Carrick, interference
TOR PEN – 07:47 – Bracco, delay of game
TOR PEN – 14:32 – Borgman, tripping

MTL – Niemi (W, 29-30)
TOR – Sparks (L, 31-36)

MTL – 12+11+13 = 36
TOR – 18+7+5 = 30

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Lindgren, Antti Niemi. Defence: Karl Alzner (A), Simon Després, Brett Lernout, Michal Moravcik, Xavier Ouellet, Rinat Valiev. Forwards: Kenny Agostino, Joel Armia, Michael Chaput, Jacob de la Rose, Byron Froese (A), Charles Hudon, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Artturi Lehkonen (A), Matthew Peca, Nikita Scherbak, Hunter Shinkaruk, Nick Suzuki.
TORGoaltenders: Curtis McElhinney, Garret Sparks. Defence: Andreas Borgman, Connor Carrick (A), Justin Holl, Martin Marincin, Rasmus Sandin, Jordan Subban. Forwards: Jeremy Bracco, Adam Brooks, Adam Cracknell, Pierre Engvall, Colin Greening (A), Carl Grundstrom, Andreas Johnsson, Josh Jooris, Kasperi Kapanen (A), Par Lindholm, Trevor Moore, Dmytro Timashov.


Xavier Ouellet (MTL)
⭐⭐ Artturi Lehkonen (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Antti Niemi (MTL)