Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 2
Monday, February 21, 2022
Centre Bell, Montréal, Québec
Josh Anderson had two goals and an assist for the Montréal Canadiens in their third straight win, 5-2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell Centre on Monday.
Cole Caufield had a goal and two assists, and Sam Montembeault made 35 saves for the Canadiens (11-33-7), who hadn’t won consecutive games this season prior to this streak.
“I think you need some swagger and I think we’re building a lot of swagger right now,” Montréal coach Martin St-Louis said. “And swagger is not like cockiness or arrogance, it’s just like believing in yourself and feeling good about yourself, and I think we have that. Swagger is so important in this league to be successful.”
The Canadiens are 3-3-0 since St-Louis replaced Dominique Ducharme as coach February 9.
“We’re playing for each other, and I think the energy in the room is a lot higher right now,” Caufield said. “I think we’ve been playing well, even those games before we started this three-game win streak. But I just love the way we’re playing right now.”
Ilya Mikheyev and Pierre Engvall scored for the Maple Leafs (32-14-3), who have lost their past two games and have been outscored 11-5. Petr Mrazek made 19 saves.
“Probably as disappointing of a game for us this year,” Toronto captain John Tavares said. “We have to clean up what we’re giving up off the rush. It’s obviously something that is continuously giving the other team opportunities and life, and certainly for them tonight they generated a lot off of that.”
Anderson gave Montréal a 1-0 lead at 2:58 of the first period when he scored on his own rebound after he was set up by Jeff Petry.
Caufield made it 2-0 at 19:10 with his fourth goal in six games under St-Louis. He has four assists and eight points in that span after scoring eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his first 30 games.
“(St-Louis) trusts me, he’s putting me out there in situations to succeed,” Caufield said. “I’m playing with two great players too (Anderson and Nick Suzuki), so that helps. But he trusts my game and I think that’s the biggest part for me. I’ve just got to keep playing the right way and it’ll keep coming like that.”
Mike Hoffman scored 38 seconds into the second period to give the Canadiens a 3-0 lead.
Anderson made it 4-0 with his second goal of the game at 15:58, and Rem Pitlick scored his 10th of the season at 17:56 to give Montréal a 5-0 lead.
Mikheyev cut it to 5-1 at 4:43 of the third period, and Engvall scored 45 seconds later at 5:28 for the 5-2 final.
“We believe in our group and we believe we’re a good team and we never want to drop two in a row, so we’ve got to put the fire out now,” Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews said. “Not a whole lot of good in this one tonight, but you’ve got to take the good and take the bad and move on to the next game, and we’re right back at it tomorrow (at the Columbus Blue Jackets).”
Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin left the game with three seconds left in the second period after colliding with Canadiens defenceman Chris Wideman. Muzzin, who turned 33 Monday, stayed in Montréal overnight for observation. He missed seven games because of a concussion sustained January 15.
“You just hope he’s OK,” Toronto defenceman Morgan Rielly said. “He’s a big part of our group, obviously. He’s a guy that we care very deeply about, so obviously we wish him nothing but the best and hopefully he’s back soon.”
NOTES: Defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin is expected to join the Maple Leafs on Tuesday. He was acquired, along with forward Ryan Dzingel, from the Arizona Coyotes in a trade for Nick Ritchie on Sunday. Dzingel was claimed on waivers by the San Jose Sharks on Monday…Matthews ended a 10-game point streak (seven goals, seven assists) against Montréal, falling one short of the longest point streak by a player against the Canadiens in Maple Leafs history. Bill Thoms scored 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) during an 11-game streak against Montréal from November 18, 1937 to December 3, 1938…The Canadiens scored the first goal for a third straight game for the first time since Games 4-6 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Semifinal against the Vegas Golden Knights…Hoffman, who needs two goals for 200 in his NHL career, has scored 13 goals in 28 games against Toronto, his most against one team. He has 12 goals in 20 games against Arizona…Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher had two assists.
MTL GOAL – 02:58 – Anderson (Petry, Caufield)
MTL PEN – 07:52 – Kulak, cross checking
TOR PEN – 14:12 – Holl, holding
MTL GOAL – 19:10 – Caufield (Anderson)
MTL GOAL – 00:38 – Hoffman (Gallagher)
MTL PEN – 12:59 – Clague, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 15:58 – Anderson (Caufield, Suzuki)
MTL GOAL – 17:56 – Pitlick (Gallagher)
TOR PEN – 19:31 – Spezza, slashing
MTL PEN – 19:31 – Suzuki, roughing
TOR PEN – 19:31 – Holl, roughing
TOR GOAL – 04:43 – Mikheyev (Rielly, Kase)
TOR GOAL – 05:28 – Engvall (Spezza, Holl)
MTL – Montembeault (W, 35-37)
TOR – Mrazek (L, 19-24)
SHOTS ON GOAL
MTL – 8+11+5 = 25
TOR – 11+12+14 = 37
MTL – Goaltenders: Andrew Hammond, Sam Montembeault. Defence: Ben Chiarot, Kale Clague, Brett Kulak, Jeff Petry, Alexander Romanov, Chris Wideman. Forwards: Josh Anderson, Paul Byron (A), Cole Caufield, Laurent Dauphin, Jake Evans, Brendan Gallagher (A), Mike Hoffman, Artturi Lehkonen, Michael Pezzetta, Rem Pitlick, Ryan Poehling, Nick Suzuki (A).
TOR – Goaltenders: Jack Campbell, Petr Mrazek. Defence: T.J. Brodie, Travis Dermott, Justin Holl, Timothy Liljegren, Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly (A). Forwards: Michael Bunting, Pierre Engvall, David Kampf, Ondrej Kase, Alexander Kerfoot, Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews (A), Ilya Mikheyev, William Nylander, Wayne Simmonds, Jason Spezza, John Tavares (C).
MTL – 11-33-7 (.284)
TOR – 32-14-3 (.684)
⭐ Cole Caufield (MTL)
⭐⭐ Josh Anderson (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Brendan Gallagher (MTL)