Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2
Saturday, March 26, 2022
Centre Bell, Montréal, Québec
Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 47th goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-2 loss to the Montréal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday.
Paul Byron put Montréal up 3-2 with 2:28 remaining in the third period when he shot between Erik Kallgren’s legs on a 2-on-1 with Christian Dvorak.
“I was trying to play (Byron) but I knew that he had other guys with him, so I knew he wasn’t the only threat,” Kallgren said. “But he took the shot. I wasn’t surprised, but the five-hole was his best chance to score there, so it really (stinks) that he managed to score.”
Dvorak scored into an empty net with 23 seconds remaining for the 4-2 final.
Jake Allen made 49 saves in his fifth straight start for Montréal (18-37-10), which was eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Washington Capitals defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in the shootout Friday.
“These guys right now make me excited for every game to play,” Allen said. “Even though we’re out of the playoffs and we’re in last place, it doesn’t really matter right now. We’re playing for a lot more than that.”
It was the most saves Allen has made in an NHL regular-season game and the most by a Canadiens goalie in a regular-season game against the Maple Leafs since 1955-56, when shots on goal began being officially tracked.
“In a game like this, against one of the best teams in the League, your goalie has to be your best player, and he was tonight,” Montréal coach Martin St-Louis said.
Matthews set his NHL career high with 81 points (34 assists) and tied his NHL career high in goals in his 59th game. Mitchell Marner had two assists for Toronto (40-19-5), which outshot the Canadiens 51-18.
Kallgren made 14 saves in his fourth start in five games for the Maple Leafs, who have lost two of three and host the Florida Panthers on Sunday.
“They always play well and they play hard against us,” Matthews said of the Canadiens. “They’re fast and skilled, and despite where they are in the standings, this is the NHL and there’s good players that are still playing for a purpose, for meaning, whether it’s a contract or whatever that might be.”
William Nylander tied it 2-2 for Toronto at 7:33 of the third with a power-play goal.
Matthews put the Maple Leafs ahead 1-0 at 36 seconds of the first period with a one-timer from the left face-off dot off a pass from Michael Bunting. He surpassed his point total from 2019-20, when he scored 80 points (47 goals, 33 assists) in 70 games.
“It’s great. It means a lot, but in the end it’s about winning,” Matthews said. “It’s about playing a long time this spring and having that success deep into the summer.”
David Savard tied it 1-1 at 9:44 of the second period when he tapped in Laurent Dauphin’s pass across the front of the goal at the back door.
“I didn’t backcheck all the way and I think that’s the big factor,” Nylander said.
Cole Caufield gave the Canadiens a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 18:08. He took a pass from Chris Wideman and scored with a wrist shot over Kallgren’s right shoulder.
A Montréal goal at 4:18 of the second was disallowed after Toronto challenged for offside. The clock was reset to 3:57 after video review determined Nick Suzuki was offside before Dvorak scored.
The Canadiens finished the game with 10 forwards. Tyler Pitlick left with an upper-body injury in the first period, and Michael Pezzetta left with an upper-body injury in the second. Neither player will be on Montréal’s four-game road trip that begins at the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.
NOTES: Allen made 51 saves for the St. Louis Blues during a 2-1 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference First Round. Rogie Vachon made 51 saves for the Canadiens during a 3-2 double overtime loss to the Maple Leafs in Game 3 of the 1967 Stanley Cup Final…Four Toronto players have scored more goals in a season than Matthews: Frank Mahovlich (48 in 1960-61), Rick Vaive (54 in 1981-82; 51 in 1982-83; and 52 in 1983-84), Gary Leeman (51 in 1989-90) and Dave Andreychuk (53 in 1993-94)…Caufield has scored 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) in 20 games since Martin St-Louis replaced Dominique Ducharme as Canadiens coach February 9…Montréal forward Jonathan Drouin missed a second straight game because of close contact with someone infected with COVID-19. He aggravated a wrist injury Monday in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins and might require surgery, but the Canadiens said he will seek a second opinion first…Defenceman William Lagesson played 14:08 and had two blocked shots in his first game for Montréal since he was acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on Monday…Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry is out indefinitely after sustaining a lower-body injury Thursday during a 4-3 loss to the Panthers.
TOR GOAL – 00:36 – Matthews (Bunting, Marner)
MTL GOAL – 09:44 – Savard (Dauphin, Suzuki)
TOR PEN – 10:04 – Rielly, interference
TOR PEN – 17:20 – Holl, interference
MTL PP GOAL – 18:08 – Caufield (Wideman, Suzuki)
MTL PEN – 02:17 – Edmundson, roughing
MTL PEN – 06:41 – Dvorak, holding
TOR PP GOAL – 07:33 – Nylander (Tavares, Marner)
MTL PEN – 07:33 – Edmundson, cross checking
MTL GOAL – 17:32 – Byron
MTL EN GOAL – 19:37 – Dvorak (Byron, Savard)
MTL – Allen (W, 49-51)
TOR – Kallgren (L, 14-17)
SHOTS ON GOAL
MTL – 3+12+3 = 18
TOR – 12+15+24 = 51
MTL – Goaltenders: Jake Allen, Sam Montembeault. Defence: Joel Edmundson (A), William Lagesson, Alexander Romanov, David Savard, Corey Schueneman, Chris Wideman. Forwards: Josh Anderson, Joel Armia, Paul Byron (A), Cole Caufield, Laurent Dauphin, Christian Dvorak, Jake Evans, Mike Hoffman, Michael Pezzetta, Rem Pitlick, Tyler Pitlick, Nick Suzuki (A).
TOR – Goaltenders: Erik Kallgren, Petr Mrazek. Defence: T.J. Brodie, Mark Giordano, Justin Holl, Timothy Liljegren, Ilya Lyubushkin, Morgan Rielly (A). Forwards: Colin Blackwell, Michael Bunting, Pierre Engvall, David Kampf, Alexander Kerfoot, Mitchell Marner (A), Auston Matthews, Ilya Mikheyev, William Nylander, Wayne Simmonds, Jason Spezza, John Tavares (C).
MTL – 18-37-10 (.354)
TOR – 40-19-5 (.664)
⭐ Jake Allen (MTL)
⭐⭐ Nick Suzuki (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Paul Byron (MTL)