Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Centre Bell, Montréal, Québec
Josh Anderson scored with 19 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Montréal Canadiens a 4-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the season opener for each team at Bell Centre on Wednesday.
Anderson scored on a pass from Nick Suzuki, the third goal scored in 2:11 by the teams late in the third.
“I think our coaching staff has done a good job of keeping us level-headed, whether we score or not,” Canadiens forward Cole Caufield said. “So, I liked where our composure was at, and we got it right back.”
Caufield scored twice, and Jake Allen made 29 saves for Montréal.
“There’s no perfect game; it’s about finding ways in this league, and I thought the guys fought tonight and found a way,” Canadiens coach Martin St-Louis said. “I think it gives us some confidence and something to build off.”
William Nylander had a goal and an assist, and Matt Murray made 19 saves in his Toronto debut.
“It takes a couple bounces, it ends up right on their tape in the slot,” Murray said of Anderson’s goal. “I didn’t see the release, and the guy put it post-and-in, so just a bit of bad luck there.”
The Maple Leafs host the Washington Capitals on Thursday.
“It was a tough one to swallow in the last few minutes,” captain John Tavares said. “We give one up, we tie it, we give one up again. It’s disappointing. We have to learn from it quick, get back in front of ‘Leafs Nation’ tomorrow and feed off our fans and bounce back.”
Nylander tied it at 3-3 with 1:50 remaining, 40 seconds after Sean Monahan scored in his Montréal debut at 17:30 to make it 3-2.
“I just tried to get in an open area, and I think the puck went off of ‘Andy’s’ foot, and I had a Grade A look,” Monahan said. “Those are the ones you dream of.”
Nylander tied it when he took a pass from Tavares (two assists) and shot under Allen’s blocker.
Caufield tied the game twice in the second. He made it 2-2 with an unassisted goal for his second of the period at 15:56 when he drove the right side and fired a wrist shot over Murray’s glove.
“I just made a bad read; I should have taken an extra step there and should have been a little more in his face,” Murray said. “It’s a good shot, but one I should have had.”
Caufield’s first goal on a 2-on-1 with Suzuki 33 seconds into the second tied it at 1-1. Caufield, who nearly connected with Suzuki on another 2-on-1 late in the first, one-timed Suzuki’s saucer pass over Maple Leafs defenceman Rasmus Sandin to flip a shot over Murray’s glove.
“I thought our guys hung (Murray) out to dry,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “It’s one of the most dangerous teams in the NHL on the rush. Ever since their coaching change last year, they have established themselves as one of the most dangerous teams on the rush. Caufield, Anderson…these guys are some of the most dangerous shooters there are off of transition, and we talked about that this morning. We talked about it before the game and fed right into it.”
Denis Malgin gave the Maple Leafs a 2-1 lead at 9:06 of the second with his first NHL goal since January 8, 2020. He was in front of the net to put the puck in after Allen stopped Tavares’ shot on a rebound of Nylander’s shot from the right point.
Michael Bunting made it 1-0 at 11:41 of the first period. He one-timed a shot past Allen’s glove on Mitchell Marner’s centering pass from behind the net.
Juraj Slafkovsky, the Number 1 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, was one of three Canadiens who made his NHL debut, along with defencemen Kaiden Guhle and Arber Xhekaj. Slafkovsky had one shot on goal in 10:34 of ice time.
“I dreamed of playing (in the) NHL and I dreamed of playing my first game,” Slafkovsky said. “It’s over, we won, so that’s a great start for me, I would say.”
NOTES: It was the second time in as many days a go-ahead goal was scored in the final 30 seconds of the third; Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone scored with 26 seconds left in a 4-3 win at the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday…Allen made a save on Alexander Kerfoot’s penalty shot attempt at 17:20 of the second, 10 seconds after a video review determined the puck did not enter the net on Canadiens forward Kirby Dach’s wraparound attempt…Injured goalie Carey Price received one of the loudest ovations from Montréal fans during introductions, along with Slafkovsky, Caufield, Suzuki, forward Brendan Gallagher and St-Louis.
TOR PEN – 02:07 – Giordano, interference
TOR PEN – 05:37 – Bunting, holding
TOR GOAL – 11:41 – Bunting (Marner, Brodie)
TOR PEN – 12:59 – Sandin, tripping
MTL PEN – 13:45 – Wideman, interference
MTL GOAL – 00:33 – Caufield (Suzuki, Savard)
MTL PEN – 04:02 – Pitlick, hooking
TOR GOAL – 09:06 – Malgin (Tavares, Nylander)
TOR PEN – 11:11 – Kerfoot, interference
MTL GOAL – 15:56 – Caufield
TOR PEN SHOT – 17:20 – Kerfoot stopped
MTL PEN – 05:33 – Monahan, high sticking
MTL PEN – 14:04 – Harris, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 17:30 – Monahan (Harris, Dach)
TOR EA GOAL – 18:10 – Nylander (Tavares, Rielly)
MTL GOAL – 19:42 – Anderson (Suzuki)
MTL – Allen (W, 29-32)
TOR – Murray (L, 19-23)
SHOTS ON GOAL
MTL – 8+9+6 = 23
TOR – 8+13+11 = 32
MTL – Goaltenders: Jake Allen, Sam Montembeault. Defence: Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Johnathan Kovacevic, David Savard (A), Chris Wideman, Arber Xhekaj. Forwards: Josh Anderson, Cole Caufield, Kirby Dach, Evgenii Dadonov, Christian Dvorak, Jake Evans, Brendan Gallagher (A), Mike Hoffman, Sean Monahan, Rem Pitlick, Juraj Slafkovsky, Nick Suzuki (C).
TOR – Goaltenders: Matt Murray, Ilya Samsonov. Defence: T.J. Brodie, Mark Giordano, Justin Holl, Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly (A), Rasmus Sandin. Forwards: Zach Aston-Reese, Nicolas Aubé-Kubel, Michael Bunting, Pierre Engvall, Calle Jarnkrok, David Kampf, Alexander Kerfoot, Denis Malgin, Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews (A), William Nylander, John Tavares (C).
MTL – 1-0-0 (1.000)
TOR – 0-1-0 (.000)
⭐ Cole Caufield (MTL)
⭐⭐ Nick Suzuki (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Jake Allen (MTL)