Liveblog: Canadiens complete road trip with 5-3 win in TO

lehkonenleafs

Less than four minutes into the third period, Michael McCarron’s first goal of the season restored the Canadiens’ two-goal lead.

Carey Price made great saves down the stretch to seal the deal.

Alexander Radulov scored his 10th on a power play, 36 seconds into the second period.

That two-goal margin lasted until 18:15, when Mitch Marner fed James Van Riemsdyk for a goal that made out 4-3.

There had been five goals in 20 first-period minutes at the ACC.

Max Pacioretty opened the scoring, converting an Radulov feed 40 seconds into the game for his 19th of the season.

Three minutes later, Artturi Lehkonen beat Frederik Andersen with a stoppable shot to make it 2-0.

Then two power play goals got Toronto back into it.

With Tomas Plekanec in the penalty box, Tyler Bozak cashed a superb Mitch Marner feed to make it 2-1 at 8:25.

Radulov was in the box when the execrable Nazem Kadri made it 2-2 at 16:01.

Then with less than two seconds left in the period and the Canadiens on a PP, Nikita Scherbak – making his NHL debut – restored the lead.

Shots were 36-31 for the Leafs.

 

465 Comments

  1. 25soonenough says:

    For the poster who said Weber’s game has been declining.

    Weber’s last six games:

    2 Goals
    5 Assists
    Plus 2
    12 Shots

    –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  2. JohnBellyful says:

    Scherbak: Nothing butter than a debut with un but.

  3. city center says:

    Great to see the Habs keep rolling. 24, 67 and 47 is a bona fide number one line. Danault does not look out of place one bit and you almost wonder whether MB was able to essentially steal a number one center away from Chicago. And Rads,…. the power forward we haven’t had since Cole got sent packing.
    Perhaps the best thing to come out of this stretch is that the Captain has clearly grown into the role. He has upped his game just when the team faces its greatest adversity of the season and sets a club record for clutch goals.
    Last, Shea Weber is everything i had hoped for and more. Knows when to pick his spots for payback and deliver justice without pulling a Ryan White meltdown for the team.

    Well done boys. Tons of character.

    • dwrozeboom says:

      I’m starting to think that the change of attitude in the locker room is MB’s biggest accomplishment. A lot of the pieces are the same, a lot of the guys that are up here now were called up last year but the results are much different.
      Danault is amazing. He’s playing between two of the most talented wingers in the NHL and he’s making it happen. I loved the stick through the legs of defenseman for the tip from Pacioretty in the 3rd period. That was great stuff.

  4. habsfan0 says:

    DD was invisible tonight.
    However, that’s about to change, I fear.

  5. Habanero78 says:

    The Habs puck possession is amazing, I’m not a stats guy. But the way they are controlling the puck, the 4 on 4 even as good as that 3 on 3 that they controlled the play. They’re not tossing the puck in deep, they are making changes with possession. They are playing with confidence and the youth, especially McCarron up with the team is helping.

  6. Bun E. Laroque says:

    Loved that first shift, Radulov back- head butting the most deserving leaf and willing the first goal 20 seconds in. This team just gets stronger
    despite the injuries. I sometimes wonder if Weber could find another adverb besides “obviously” but if its working I guess you just go with it.

  7. Duffy says:

    No three Stars ,?

  8. Habby_Haberton says:

    Habs are 1 or 2 pieces from going REALLY deep these playoffs.
    This road trip has been better than anyone could have hoped for despite the injuries. Last year the team would have folded quicker than a Sunday load at the laundramat.

    Leafs have some nice pieces and a great PP/PK.
    They are still missing some depth and 2 top 4 dmen (including a #1).

    But for now, Habs are still the better team which they’ll need to be as I could see these two meeting in the playoffs in the not too distant future.

  9. JohnBellyful says:

    The difference this season from last: the gel is holding, no matter the mix, although there’s one main ingredient the team can’t do without.

  10. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Likely Nikita Sherbak has still some seasoning needed before making the Team, but when and if He does, You Guyz will love the sight of Him swooping down the wing.

    He will be a sight for sore eyes.

  11. CHicoHab says:

    Im loving the way Weber has embraced this team. The confidence level on this team has not looked like this in ages. His mere presence has been the key to everyone stepping up and even having a small chip on their shoulders. The type of character the Habs have been missing for years. Props to MB for getting this guy. We are not a firewagon team yet but once all the injured boys return its going to be even more fun to watch.

  12. Chris says:

    Since December 4th, the game where Montreal lost Galchenyuk, Pacioretty has 14 goals and 19 points in 16 games. Most impressively, that includes 7 goals and 11 points in 10 road games, where opposing coaches can match lines.

    The other player who has really stepped up is Jeff Petry, who now has 5 goals and 12 points in those same 16 games, filling the offensive void left by Markov’s injury.

    Maybe the best news is that the team has stayed afloat with all these injuries despite weak play by Carey Price, who sports a very mediocre 2.54 GAA and below average .900 SV% over those games. You know that Price can and will elevate his play, so a healthy Montreal team with a re-focused Price could be dangerous if they can pick up another scorer at the deadline.

  13. The_Truth says:

    I think on a night MT gets his 400th win is a very good one to give the man a lot credit. He deserves a lot of it, for the success so far. Especially the last month, with all the injuries. He gets a lot of undeserved flack, I find, and now should be getting some real praise.

    A top 3 coach of the year candidate halfway through the seaon.

  14. toinz says:

    Devastated by injuries, this team is showing us what they lacked so sorely last year, character. Ever since the horrendous game in Tampa, this team has shown character, “compete”, not being “soff”, playing as a team, and finding what it takes to win.

    (I believe this is Michel Therrien bingo!)

    There is an old saying in football, “we are one injury away from having a really good team here” and this road trip has brought out the best in some of our players, especially the captain, who is showing he learned a lot from the debacle last year. Leadership is a kind of skill that is only acquired through experience, and Max is showing us what he’s really made of.

    I find it unreal that many hockey fans want to run management out of town given the results. Carey Price had a .899 save% in December and this team is still 2 points behind Columbus for first place in the league.

  15. slapshot777 says:

    Considering that the Habs have seven regulars out and played a game with that intensity with seven rookies speaks volumes as to the kind of team the Habs have.

    All along we have been hearing a team with character a team with players who hate to lose. I think this team as finally arrived. The Ice Caps also missing all of these players as well are getting points in their games and got a big win tonight over first place Syracuse Crunch.

    We have been critical of MT and Lefebvre as coaches and MB as a GM but patience is one thing that we as fans seem to lack but the management has preached patience and finally it is turning the corner. MT should be getting consideration for Coach of the year and MB for GM of the year. Lefebvre could also be getting consideration for the same thing if there is something similar available in the AHL.

    It’s time to enjoy this team and let it play out I think we are going to be pleasantly surprised in the end.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  16. Habitant in Surrey says:

    That’s a RELEAF ! I was worried to be forced to start calling dem da Leaves rather than da Weeds.

    Exhale.

  17. CJinBK says:

    Good night. Habs beat despicable Hyman and his hateful Leafs, with no injuries and Price looking incredibly Pricean/Promethean. And the Blue Jackets remained earthbound, relinquishing a 4-1 lead to lose 5-4 in regulation to the Rangers. Boston shut out Florida, so not a perfect night… Very happy to see McCarron and Scherbak get goals tonight. (Scherbak can now shave that fluff off his top lip, right?)

  18. Strummer says:

    I’m OK with the Weber penalty at the end.
    With a 2 goal lead you can afford to throw your weight around, and Komarov is tough customer

    -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      What I don’t understand is why that’s a penalty and many other identical cross-checks aren’t. Maybe because the stick broke?

      —–

      • slapshot777 says:

        The officiating has been terrible tonight and even though the Habs won the Leafs got the breaks on Penalties as well as questionable icing calls. In the end the ref wanted to give the Leafs one last crack at getting a goal.

        To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

      • The Gumper says:

        Breaking a stick over your opponent has always been the threshold.
        A defencemen giving the lumber in front of the net has always been held to a different standard and thus, it has and shall always be…

  19. FormalWare says:

    Habs played valiantly, tonight – but not particularly well. They are lucky Andersen had such an off-night. Had he played the way he’s been playing, Habs might well have lost.

    The dysfunctional penalty kill is the most perplexing problem with this team. Habs have consistently been in the top third of the league in PK, for years. The off-season changes might have been expected to improve the PK, from there. (The addition of Shea Weber being the key, material factor.) Instead, this team can’t kill penalties. Even before the injuries, they were tracking mid-pack on the PK. Weird.


    “Good Luck With That,” Habs!

    • Strummer says:

      Habs weren’t great but Leafs were worse.

      -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

      • slapshot777 says:

        How do you figure the Leafs were worse? The Leafs gave everything they had at the Habs. Their goaltender gave up one bad goal really. If you want to point the finger you can point it at their goaltender.

        Even the Leaf blowers said that the goaltending was the weak link on their team tonight.

        I don’t know what you expect from the Habs either. You take seven regulars out from any team and see how they play. See if their game keeps the same pace as it would with the seven regulars back in.

        I think with the way players have been dropping this road trip finished off better than anyone could have thought. I will take it.

        To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

      • CJinBK says:

        Gotta agree with 777. The Leafs played incredibly well tonight; they were tenacious and their PP was dangerous as hell. Their PK was almost as offensively dangerous! Andersen gave up a couple of softies, and almost gave up a couple more. Habs earned this win fair and square.

        My favorite moment of the night was Weber hitting Hyman in the head after the punk ran over Price. Weber didn’t grab Hyman, he just skated right to where Hyman was on the ice and started hitting the back of his head, not stopping until the refs pried him off.

        THAT is what Petry should have done when Palmieri ran Price, not left it to Price to kidney punch the Devil with his blocker. (Although I’m sure Kyle Palmieri would rather be hit in the helmet by Jeff Petry than what did happen to him…)

        So, let tonight’s game be a lesson to the Habs and their opponents: You run Price, and one or more guys from our team will rain blows down on your head.

        Okay, totally got off-track with my response… Great game against two very good teams. The better team won despite missing a half-dozen starters to injury. The lesser team is a few pieces away from being very good; Andersen is simply not the saviour in goal that Auston Matthews is at centre ice.

        • johnyk says:

          Weber pounced on him and got in a really good short punch in close to the punk’s head, hard for the ref to see. Kind of thing a real veteran knows how to do.

          Johnyk

  20. danhabsfan says:

    That was an important win. The boys were outplayed, but got a big win. Good points results on this trip. (Got to live that free Betman point).

  21. Arnou Ruelle says:

    I’m impressed! It looks like the fourth line is a good one to keep for this stretch of the season. Both McCarron and Scherbak are great (congrats to #38 on scoring his first NHL goal)! Also, all four lines are rolling. I think Marc Bergevin should try to keep these two guys in the lineup. They should be called more often to bolster the team. Max Pacioretty is now becoming the Captain this team has needed him to be.

    When Galchenyuk and Markov do come back on Monday, I hope mgmt. and coaching staff will take their time to study the depth of our Habs squad. I like it, I’m looking forward to the (possible) new additions to our team.

  22. B says:

    Bitten had his 14th goal and a pair of assists.
    He now has 29 points in 36 games.
    Hamilton beat Niagara 3-1

    Evans had an assist, point streak up to 7 games now.
    He now has 20 points in 21 games.
    Notre Dame lost 4-2 to Michigan Tech.

    McNiven won again beating Windsor 5-1.
    Addison and Sergachev held pointless.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  23. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Did Y’all notice Norm (UCe) ? First pair D-man for the Whistler Winterhawks.

  24. Chuck says:

    What’s that, a baker’s dozen against the Laffs?

    Gotta count that as a successful road trip: ending thier longest of the year down 7 regulars and going 4-1-2.

  25. Mister Wrong says:

    3 stars?

  26. Caesar says:

    I don’t see a place for DD when he us ready to return. Good on Nikita congratulations! If Price plays like that in the playoffs we cant lose. If the PP plays like that in the playoffs we can’t win

  27. gordispitz says:

    what a team, watta a road trip!! character,, it is a process… congrats

  28. savethepuck says:

    4-2-1 on a long road trip with a depleted lineup is very impressive to me.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  29. Habnormal says:

    It is games like these that make me respect MB

  30. Coach K says:

    MT with his 400th win in TO at the end of a long road trip. Good for him and for the team. The best part is that Hughson and “Homer” Simpson couldn’t possibly spin it any other way lol!

    -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
    (James Lane Allen)

  31. PK says:

    Congrats to Therrien for his 400th win.

    MT is a better coach than Babs, on this night.

  32. slapshot777 says:

    The cherry on top of the icing on the cake to finish off a seven game road trip.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  33. Cheech says:

    VERY GOOD WIN…..SUCK IT LEAFS!

  34. 25soonenough says:

    Very Nice! What a game! playoff intensity.

    –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  35. Sal from the Hammer says:

    They continue to defy!! Nice work against the hated Laffs, and their blowers!

  36. Habby_Haberton says:

    What did I tell ya about the pp

  37. longtimehabsfan says:

    Weber has been undisciplined

    • 25soonenough says:

      nah, punching a Leaf(all good), breaking his stick over a Leaf (all good)
      He showed that nastiness we’ve all heard about but haven’t always seen. Tonight Weber was unreal. 3O plus mins, 2 assists, 4 Shots

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • dwrozeboom says:

      For useless penalties you might check out the ones taken by Kadri and JVR.
      His two targets were deserving of his attention. I wish he would have gone after Hyman more than he did. Weber and Komarov were going at each other. Weber got the penalty because his stick broke. His stick broke because he always means business. Komarov already sucked Radulov into a penalty during the face off at the beginning of the game.
      Radulov’s other penalty during the first period was for ‘hooking.’ I’ve seen several TO players do this. Both guys are going for the puck. As the opposing player holds his stick about waist high against the TO player to keep his lane, the TO player turns away from the puck. The stick catches his arm and it’s a hooking.

  38. kalevine says:

    So sorry about Fritz, Alex. Pets are part of the family. It’s normal to be sad. Like others have said, remember the good times.

  39. PK says:

    The Leafs have some work to do.
    They couldn’t beat an NHL team that is populated by AHL prospects.

  40. CH Sam says:

    How did that NOT go in??

  41. CH Sam says:

    Radulov has some good speed & stride

  42. Coach K says:

    Ok men…lock it down!

    -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
    (James Lane Allen)

  43. Habby_Haberton says:

    Minus the goal I think Scherbak has been brutal tonight tbh. Very soft on the puck and bad decision making.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      It’s his first ever NHL game!

      —–

    • sirs81 says:

      He is very good on in the O zone. Always going to the front of the net… I was watching him all night. I am sure he will learn to be stronger on the puck as he gets more ice time. Its something the coaches will talk to him about. He did play ok in the other two zones.

      • Arnou Ruelle says:

        Yes, its his NHL debut. I think he’ll take his time to grow within the system and I’m sure Scherbak will benefit from playing with the Habs just like McCarron does.

        Anyway….does anybody miss that little fella #51?

      • Habby_Haberton says:

        Ya he is interesting in the O zone but he is waaaaaaay below average when in the D zone or neutral zone. Trust me, I want him to succeed here but these are the knocks I’ve been reading about him since becoming a pro and since they play the same system in AHL, he should know what to do with the puck wherever he is on the ice…

        Anyways I’m happy for the win so I won’t harp on him too much.

    • Cheech says:

      You forgot the goal he scored or what…

  44. longtimehabsfan says:

    About time our farm system has begun to produce. I see hard working young players out there.

  45. piter says:

    Pucks sure are bouncing a lot tonight. We’ve had deflategate in the NFL, what would it be for unfrozen pucks? Let’s hear your best.

  46. Habby_Haberton says:

    You can bet your boots that Leafs will get another pp before it ends.

  47. Coach K says:

    Sherbak and MacCarron have been pretty dynamic tonight. I have to wonder how DD will ever get back in the lineup?

    -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
    (James Lane Allen)

  48. gordispitz says:

    leafs save% for december .943
    habs save % december 900

  49. Chuck says:

    Thos team misses more wide open nets…

  50. CJinBK says:

    Shea Weber has lost around 40 mph from his slap shot.

  51. StanleyHab says:

    Hey Alex! How you feeling?

  52. longtimehabsfan says:

    It’s good to see the veterans leading. Contrast to last year.

  53. slapshot777 says:

    Simpson fails to see how that was a penalty. I say after the game the two Ronnies go into the Leafs dressing room to soothe what ails the Lafs

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  54. CJinBK says:

    Another brutal penalty for the Leafs. Another brutal power play for the Habs?

  55. DipsyDoodler says:

    Hockey 101: always start the québécois goalie against the Habs.
    —–

  56. CJinBK says:

    Thank god Enelin’s okay. Phew!

  57. CJinBK says:

    Polak is another boiled-ham-as-head. Like Kessel.

  58. CJinBK says:

    Andersen surprised himself with that save.

  59. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Really hope Emelin isn’t hurt. He has been excellent all year.

  60. CJinBK says:

    Hyman took out Emelin. Good hit, but his knee looked crunchy.

  61. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Danault is the next Plekanec (08-14 Plekanec who was very very good)

    • Coach K says:

      Not really. Danault will pass to his linemates before he or they are out of options.

      -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
      (James Lane Allen)

  62. Captain_Alex says:

    Nice to see the leafs lose though that makes me feel better

  63. slapshot777 says:

    Another Questionable icing call that favours Toronto. Watch going down the stretch here the officials give the Leafs all the breaks

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  64. unclefester says:

    IceCaps taking on Syracuse Crunch tonight…

    Went to overtime….Daniel Audette with the winner

    IceCaps take it tonight by a score of 2 – 1

    …”in rapier-like fashion”… Danny Gallivan…

  65. CJinBK says:

    Love for MT on TVA.

  66. longtimehabsfan says:

    This game is wild too wild

  67. Captain_Alex says:

    All day yesterday

  68. Chuck says:

    I guess that they couldn’t be bothered calling thay high stick.


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