Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
Jack Campbell made 31 saves, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montréal Canadiens 2-1 in the season opener for each team at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday.
“Any game day, you’re still dialled in and the nerves are still there,” Campbell said. “When it’s a sold-out barn though, it’s so exciting and it makes it that much sweeter when you put the work in, everybody contributes, and you get a big two points.”
It was the first time the Maple Leafs played in front of a capacity crowd at home since March 10, 2020. Ontario lifted its COVID-19 restrictions for indoor events on Friday.
William Nylander broke a tie 1:06 into the third period. He took a pass from Morgan Rielly to put him in alone and shot over Jake Allen’s glove from the right face-off circle.
Pierre Engvall also scored for the Maple Leafs.
“I thought the first 10 minutes, we were not good,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “It took us a while to really get comfortable in the game but from then on, I thought the effort was really strong. Guys worked and competed. It was a tight game right to the end so I’m happy that we found our way out on the right side of it.”
Jonathan Drouin scored, and Allen made 28 saves for the Canadiens.
“I thought we had our spurts in the game,” Allen said. “I thought we started really well, our first 10 minutes was really solid in that first period and we had some jump. There’s some things we all definitely want to improve on including myself but we didn’t get the win and that was the main thing. They have elite players on that team, high end talent and whenever you have that, you’ve got a good chance for success.”
The Maple Leafs killed off a 5-on-3 power play for 1:44 that started at 5:18 of the third period.
“We put a lot of pressure but I didn’t like our pace, our intensity,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said. “I think that was a difference tonight for sure. Having a 5-on-3 in the third period and trailing by one, you need to capitalize on that.”
Maple Leafs defenceman Justin Holl blocked a shot from Brendan Gallagher at 7:07 to save a goal with Campbell out of position.
“Justin, to single him out, he had the game-saver there,” Campbell said. “They were moving it around pretty quick, and it was pretty tiring down 5-on-3 and all of a sudden I look over and I kind of gave them a wide-open net. I’ve got to watch some video on that tonight, but Justin took it away and made a game-saving block. He’s a heck of a player and it was great to see him make a game-changing play like that.”
Drouin put the Canadiens up 1-0 at 7:22 of the first period when he took a pass from Josh Anderson on a 2-on-1 and shot past Campbell’s blocker. It was Drouin’s first game since taking leave from the Canadiens on April 21 due to anxiety.
“That was good, I was really happy for him,” Allen said. “When I saw he was the guy who put it in the net, I couldn’t tell the reaction on the bench but I’m sure everyone was elated after the hard times he’s gone through over the last five or six months, getting his feet under him again, he was very deserving of that goal.”
Montréal was outshooting Toronto 8-1 when Drouin scored but Toronto responded to draw even in shots at 9-9 by the end of the period.
“He was on fire, thank god he was back there for us,” Nylander said. “It could have been 2, or 3 to nothing for Montréal. We came out pretty slow. We got our legs going later in that period but Jack was on fire tonight.”
The Maple Leafs tied it at 10:12 when Engvall faked a shot to elude Ben Chiarot, skated towards the slot and shot past Allen’s blocker through a screen. Michael Bunting had an assist on the goal in his Maple Leafs debut.
NOTES: The Maple Leafs were without centre Auston Matthews, who had wrist surgery on August 13. Matthews is not expected to play on Thursday at the Ottawa Senators or Saturday at home against the Senators…Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase, David Kampf, Michael Bunting and Michael Amadio made their Maple Leafs debuts….David Savard blocked five shots in his first game with the Canadiens…Mathieu Perreault, Cédric Paquette, Christian Dvorak and Chris Wideman also made their Montréal debuts.
MTL PEN – 04:44 – Chiarot, hooking
MTL GOAL – 07:22 – Drouin (Anderson, Kulak)
MTL PEN – 08:13 – Romanov, interference
TOR PP GOAL – 10:12 – Engvall (Bunting, Sandin)
TOR PEN – 06:02 – Tavares, hooking
TOR GOAL – 01:06 – Nylander (Rielly, Marner)
TOR PEN – 05:02 – Spezza, tripping
TOR PEN – 05:18 – Marner, tripping
TOR PEN – 10:56 – Nylander, tripping
MTL PEN – 18:13 – Anderson, roughing
TOR – Campbell (W, 31-32)
MTL – Allen (L, 28-30)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 9+14+7 = 30
MTL – 9+11+12 = 32
TOR – Goaltenders: Jack Campbell, Petr Mrazek. Defence: T.J. Brodie, Travis Dermott, Justin Holl, Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly (A), Rasmus Sandin. Forwards: Michael Amadio, Michael Bunting, Pierre Engvall, David Kampf, Ondrej Kase, Alexander Kerfoot, Mitchell Marner (A), William Nylander, Nick Ritchie, Wayne Simmonds, Jason Spezza, John Tavares (C).
MTL – Goaltenders: Jake Allen, Sam Montembeault. Defence: Ben Chiarot (A), Brett Kulak, Jeff Petry, Alexander Romanov, David Savard, Chris Wideman. Forwards: Josh Anderson, Joel Armia, Cole Caufield, Jonathan Drouin, Christian Dvorak, Jake Evans, Brendan Gallagher (A), Artturi Lehkonen, Cédric Paquette, Mathieu Perreault, Nick Suzuki, Tyler Toffoli (A).
TOR – 1-0-0 (1.000)
MTL – 0-1-0 (.000)
⭐ William Nylander (TOR)
⭐⭐ Jack Campbell (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Jake Allen (MTL)