Liveblog: Game 49 – Leafs win 5-3, tighten playoff race


Divisional loss tightens race

Toronto's 5-3 win moved them withing four points of the third-place Canadiens in the Atlantic Division standings.

A late goal by James Van Riemsdyk broke a 3-3 tie.

The Leafs also got goals from Cody Franson, Phil Kessel and Mason Raymond.

Brendan Gallagher, Brian Gionta and David Desharnais scored for the Canadiens.

Leafs score late to win it

David Desharnais tipped in P.K. Subban's point shot to create a 3-3 tie that lasted five minutes.

Errors by Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin and Max Pacioretty opened the door for Tyler Bozak to feed James Van Riemsdyk for the winning goal.

With Carey Price on the bench, Joffrey Lupul was hauled down from behind and awarded an empty-netter.

Canadiens outshot the Leafs 33-29.

Birthday boy captain scores a big one

The Canadiens dominated the first half of the period, but Toronto took the lead on goals by Phil Kessel and Mason Raymond – the former off defensive zone chaos, the latter with Alecei Emelin in the penalty box.

The home team was cruising until Brian Gionta, 35 today, tapped in a rebound with only 11 ticks left on the clock.

Shots were 14-10 for the Canadiens.

Carey Price made a highlight reel leg save on Kessel.

Ottawa redux?

Reminiscent of what the Senators did on Thursday, Toronto began by running the Canadiens out of the rink.

The Leafs outshot their visitors 6-1 and got a 1-0 lead when Nazem Kadri easily beat Alexei Emelin and fed a pinching Cody Franson for a tap-in.

The lead lasted until a late-period Canadiens power play.

A lucky bounce off Max Pacioretty found the blade of Brendan Gallagher's stick, and the diminutive one fired home his 12th goal – half of which have come on the PP.

Shots were 12-9 for the Leafs.

Carey Price's best save was right-leg robbery on Mason Raymond.

Another Atlantic rival

Their first visit to Toronto this season is unlikely to match the excitement of the Canadiens' crazy win in Ottawa, but there's every chance we'll see a good one at the Air Canada Centre Saturday night.

Clinging to a wild-card playoff spot, Toronto has won three in a row and is 16-10-1 at the ACC.

The Canadiens are third in the Atlantic Division, two points behind Tampa Bay and three back of the Bruins. They're 13-8-2 on the road this season.

The Leafs spoiled the season opener at the Bell Centre  Oct. 1 with a 4-3 win. The Canadiens made amends to the home fans, getting two goals from Max Pacioretty and winning 4-2 on Nov. 30.

Hamilton call-ups Nathan Beaulieu and Joonas Nattinen are expected to be in the lineup Saturday night.

Disappointing fans who voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking him out to the barn to be humanely euthanized, Rene Bourque will be in the pressbox, with Douglas Murray and Raphael Diaz.

The Leafs will be without "prize" UFA acquisition David Clarkson and goon Frazer McLaren.

Puck drops at 7:40ish, after the HNIC crew finishes their preliminary Leaf-blowing.

Check back later for live game blogging.



  1. NLhabsfan says:

    Fine effort by toronto but still pales in comparison to the Canadiens celebration.

  2. J.J. of Turku says:

    “Cover your ears, kids: “Everyone’s enjoyed having Dick.””
    LOL! I wasn’t sure if I heard it correctly, but good know I haerd it right! 😀

  3. habcertain says:

    I’m in Waikiki beach, reception is great here!

  4. CJ says:

    Got that nervous, anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. That feeling reserved for the Canadiens game on Saturday night. Dishes are washed and the boys are in bed. Let’s strike early and often Montreal. Go Habs Go!

  5. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    The man does it all. Toobad he’s a leafs fan else he might just be perfect.

  6. Keith says:

    Boone sir you crack me up lol!

  7. Reflektor says:

    152 votes for Wendell Clarkson? We have Prust at half the price and ¼ the contract length.

  8. Rob Maguire says:

    Is Don Cherry wearing a Canadian Tire ad for a suit?

  9. slyCH says:

    The RDS feed is good. I’m half way ready on the buzz front. Case of Land shark beer in the fridge.

    Yeah, it might get…something.

  10. Rob Maguire says:

    Second greatest Canadian of all time? Excuse me while I clean up the vomit that just poured out of my mouth.

  11. duffy says:

    Looks like Cherry followed PJ to the Dollar Store.

  12. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    NHL sucks. I am 125 miles from any NHL arena, in NY state, yet according to Lamecenter, I am in a blackout area, and cannot watch tonight’s game live. WTF? NHL gets my money for a subscription, then won’t let me watch tons of games. Hate.

  13. olegpetrov says:

    Jakob Trouba scored in OT for Winnipeg today and jumped up and down in celebration. Will that get any media attention?

    Habs fan…Nuff said

  14. Dulljerk says:

    Stupid comment.

    No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

  15. Habilis says:

    Blow Leafs Blow

  16. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Obtuse, HH! Please elaborate (keeping in mind that statistics dictate that somewhere between 8-15% of posters are homosexual.)

  17. Dulljerk says:

    Ron Maclean is an idiot. Never liked the guy, I wish they would turf him.
    Ned Flanders of HNIC.

    No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

  18. DipsyDoodler says:

    Say what?

  19. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Dear HardHabits… What on earth are you on about. If you are gay-baiting, I’m offended as a member of the human race.

  20. Mavid says:

    Quinn and I are in our gear and ready to rumble

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  21. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    I may be Boone. He and I remarked on St-Louis mere seconds apart. I’m nowhere near a TV or a hockey arena…

  22. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Is Martin St-Louis a robot? 4 goals in 24:46 ice time. Inhuman!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hence a casualty of Team Canada’s stance on robots. “No seriously, we WANTED to pick him, but he didn’t qualify according to… er… our new anti-android regulations.”

  23. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Are the police protecting Cherry from the angry hordes, or vice versa?

  24. Habcouver says:

    Hey, any of you have that Esso Powerplay sticker collection?
    Gotta dig mine up!

    Waiting patiently for #25

  25. Rob Maguire says:

    That’s an insult to chickens.

  26. johnnylarue says:

    Applicable 80s catchphrase of the day:


    Nice to see your avatar back on this site, UCe.

  27. Dennis says:

    Stock is such a moron. How’d he get that gig? I grind my teeth listening to him.

  28. Strabo says:

    PaJama Boy Stock is an idiot.

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  29. Ton says:

    PJ what a f*****g tool! “The goaler etait pas trops bon because he let in 4 buts!” LOL

  30. Just and FYI to my three favorite admins, that post you removed of mine was the title to an 80’s Jermaine Stewart one hit wonder. 😆 Damn that’s funny!

    Habs 6
    Leafs 1

    I’m going streaking! 😆

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member

  31. Habcouver says:

    Shut up PJ!!!! Pleeeez,!

    Waiting patiently for #25

  32. habsguru says:

    Nice to see PJ wearing a shirt from the Dollar Store.

  33. turneria says:

    There is a God. Rene Bourque is a healthy scratch tonight:)

  34. PrimeTime says:

    Which coach is getting fired after this one?

    “Fans are entitled to express their opinion, but most of the comments on talk radio and on The Gazette’s Hockey Inside/Out website ranged from the mildly uninformed to the outrageously stupid” – Pat Hickey.

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

  35. L Elle says:

    Bold prediction: There will be tons of comments before, during and after this game. 😉

    Go Habs Go!

  36. Dunboyne Mike says:

    UCE, welcome back. Glad your absence wasn’t a defection.
    Coincidence: wearing a Whistler hoodie today.
    Re. second-guessing coaches and the matter of respect. I must be a little more tolerant of fan-style venting, name-calling etc. What bugs me is “obvious solutions” that take no account of all that information to which ONLY the Club has access. It seems to me that instances of that kind have increased since the advent of CH24 which is designed to fool us into believing we see it all.

    Meanwhile, I always thank the good Lord that I myself never ever do anything stupid, unfair or antisocial here on HIO!

    Great you’re back.

  37. Habcouver says:

    There must be some mistake: Karlsson was not selected a star today.

    Waiting patiently for #25

  38. habsfan0 says:

    Habs vs Leafs from Toronto on a Saturday night.
    The only thing missing is Bill Hewitt calling the play by play.

  39. frontenac1 says:

    Hola UCE! Surprising season by our Chargers eh amigo?
    Vas-y Les Boys!

    • slyCH says:

      Chargers were my team until Fouts retired…without a ring. My allegiance shifted soon after the “bolt” was streamlined.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I’m still having problems with the ‘new’ white helmets. Much preferred the blue ones.

        Agreed Front, enjoyable season by our Chargers. Whaddya know, after years of underperforming under Norv Turner, this season we got over-achieving Chargers, who did more with less. Hats off to the new régime, they managed to protect Philip Rivers and conjure up a defence with smoke and mirrors, and change the culture of the team in one season.

  40. Phil C says:

    Anyone know if Nattinen is good on faceoffs? A big right handed 4th line centre is a nice fit right now, especially if he can win some draws.

  41. J.J. of Turku says:

    Damnation! This has a mean kick. 57% barrel strength Talisker… 😀

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …to finish My thought on CBC’s Hockey Day In Canada

    …once Rogers’s have control over HNIC, will they go to nthed degree as CBC does to accent on ‘the culture of hockey’ across Canada ?

  43. Phil C says:

    I think Bourque is done. In the past he would disappear for stretches at a time, but occasionally he would move his feet, use his speed, play physically and dominate a game or two. He no longer plays physically and he no longer sustains any speed. He has just disappeared completely. It’s not like his is playing well and being unlucky or in a slump, his results match his play. All players’ value go to zero eventually, time waits for no one, it just seems like Bourque’s time has come sooner than most.

    Like others have speculated, I think it is due to concussions. Having dealt with concussions myself, they are scary, so it does not surprise me in the least that he is no longer interested in physical play. If that is the case, no shame in calling it a career.

    The is such a premium on big wingers in the NHL and due to his age, maybe the Habs could find a team willing to roll the dice with him, perhaps trade spare parts for spare parts like the Gleason -Liles trade.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      There seems to be an effort issue with him most nights. Strange to say the least.

      • Phil C says:

        Indeed. With 12 forwards in Hamilton eager to take his place, I see no reason for the Habs to tolerate it, this trip to the pressbox is certainly due. Maybe they give him one more chance after this to see if he wakes up like Desharnais did, otherwise it’s time to move on. You can’t give up any advantage to the other team in this league, certainly not in your top six where he has been playing.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      Bourque was always a lazy player even when he had the two good years of his entire career. Check out his linemates. Everyone who ever followed hockey knows this. There is no majic caus..he is lazy lazy…plain and simple.

  44. twilighthours says:

    Normand is back. Good. Just missing Bill.

  45. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …have been watching CBC’s Hockey Day I’m Canada, with it’s wonderful vignettes of the importance of hockey in Our country’s Psyche from cities to its smallest hamlets

  46. J.J. of Turku says:

    Fingers are crossed for Joonas… Hope he can help the team. At least he can be a decent “cannon fodder”.

  47. adadi says:

    Looks like MT is trying to destroy Eller. What a useless coach.

  48. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …some of My Life’s most memorable moments have been with My clothes off

  49. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …’vitriol’ in HIO ebb and flow like the surf in the Bay of Fundy 🙂

  50. Last video

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member

  51. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Esteemed Mr Boone, please do not forget to launch your live blog with the magic words, “Let’s get this party started.” Feel free to copy and paste. Go Habs!

  52. rljmartin says:

    Canadien Errant…. Your points are interesting but in a subtle way you also suggest MT is missing the boat with line combinations. Well I agree, well pass mid-season and still no stable lines. If MT is so in touch, what on earth is taking so long?

    Habs must be the only team in the league to take their top players and use them in a shut-down role. Habs teams of ole trained and used lesser-lights for that job and it worked wonders.

    More strange decisions indeed from MT.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It’s perfectly okay to disagree with some of the coaching and management decisions of the team, but there’s a way to do so that’s respectful and not soul-crushing. I’m on the record as not being in favour of the Michel Therrien hire, I wanted Patrick Roy, but I promised I’d give the guy a chance, and he’s done some excellent work overall, doing more with less, getting the most out of a roster that on paper shouldn’t be near the top of the standings.

      I’ll chin wag and be a blow hard and put forward harebrained theories, and I’ll offer suggestions to the Messrs. Therrien and Bergevin and Molson that they’d be wise to pay heed to, but I’m not going to wish an infectious disease on them.

  53. Habitant in Surrey says:


    …great to see You back Normand …missed Your great reads

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Thanks Chris. Getting ready for a good game tonight, looking forward to it.

      Is it just me though, am I imagining things, or has the climate changed at HIO, with lots more venom, lunacy, vitriol and slander? Because I used to love the civility and quality of the posts on here, but lately I’m skipping over a lot of them, until I give up and move on to something else.

      The San Diego Union-Tribune changed its comments section over a year ago, requiring posters that they log on using their Facebook accounts. All the trolls and the shouters went away when the change happened, people now had to keep a basic decorum, show some decency, since their FB profile was attached to their comment. I never used to post comments before, but now I find it enjoyable to do so, even with others whose views I disagree with. We can have some spirited discussions while being respectful of each other and the team.

  54. Grimmly says:

    Anderson has been quoted today that he was outraged and disappointed at the conduct of the Rangers today, he said that scoring on him so many times has no place in the game.

  55. John Q Public says:

    WTF is up w/ MT.
    Eller gets shifted to wing, which he has shown he’s pretty bad at, but DD was never once tried on wing.
    He must be smokin the good shit. Stop hogging MT, pass it.
    Be good if he caught the flu.
    Be disciplined boys your playing in the wolf’s den.

  56. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …P.K., Markov, Emelin, Gorges, Beaulieu, Pateryn & Tinordi = > P.K., Markov, Emelin, Gorges, Diaz, Murray & Bouillion

    …not even close

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Short-term pain for long-term gain. Those kids aren’t dominating in Hamilton, they’ve got a lot to learn, let’s leave them be and complete their apprenticeship, even if it costs us some losses this season and beyond. We’ll be better off if we don’t rush our kids. I don’t mind wringing every last ounce of hockey out of Messrs. Murray and Bouillon while we wait.

  57. Un Canadien errant says:

    Reading all the comments relative to Lars Eller and Michel Therrien on the previous thread is draining, disheartening. I understand that we’re on here to offer our opinions, I only wish they were humble. Instead, we get grandstanding, name-calling and character assassination. A significant portion of the posters are smarter than an NHL coach, and know more about hockey and the Canadiens than he does, regardless of the fact that they don’t hang out in the dressing room, watch the games from behind the bench, direct all the players at practice, etc. So they feel comfortable questioning his intelligence.

    Can we all take a step back from the ledge, and agree that Lars has been at least inconsistent for a long stretch of games now? That Michel Therrien has been mixing and matching lines trying to spark something, and that this experiment is only intended to get him going, rather than to humiliate him or deprive him of a centre slot in perpetuity?

    We all agree when a player is sent to the press gallery during a cold streak that the change will do him good. Putting Lars on a line with Tomas Plekanec, casting him in a different role, can be the shakeup he needs to get untracked, and start producing more regularly on offence again.

    Regarding René Bourque, the team has been patient with him, and it’s not that he’s not trying hard, according to the standards he’s set, but it’s probably time for him to take a game off and watch and recharge the batteries. René is never going to buzz around like Brendan Gallagher, he’s not that type of player, but he does skate and check and make dangerous plays with the puck. He’s just snakebit, nothing is working for him. Earlier in the season, with the same effort expenditure, he was on pace for a 25 goal season. Again, if we apply the same standards we use for P.K. or Brendan, currently René looks positively lethargic, but compared to last year’s showings on some nights by Travis Moen or Michael Ryder, we can conclude that René’s not loafing.

    I’ll repeat that René Bourque should be given a shot on right wing (his preferred position) on the David Desharnais line, see if he can cash in some of David’s savant passes. He wouldn’t need to do too much, just hang around the net and dig the puck out of the corners, skate hard, and inevitably he’d get the puck on his stick with an open net. It might help David too, in that opponents know that he’s going to pass to Max, those two are getting predictable. David might be more dangerous if he had another option to go to.

    Meanwhile, Brendan has cooled off a bit on that line, let’s put him back on a line with Lars, and see if Michaël Bournival can sub in for Alex Galchenyuk while he heals. Let’s give our kid line a reboot.

    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

    • GGtheHab says:

      pretty spot on, but you cant support Lars playing wing with Pleks, then suggest he and Gally reunite…nit picking, sorry.. Borque makes terrible decisions with the puck..thursday he tried to carry it up the boards instead of dumping thing you know the Sens were swarming our end..he has chances to punish D on the forecheck and instead opts to guide them gently in to boards or simply hang back..Borque has very little hockey sense

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I don’t necessarily support Lars playing wing with Tomas at centre, I thought the change was jarring on Thursday night, noticed it right away. My post was more of a suggestion to other posters to take the change in stride, accept it as an experiment to shake things up, and that it’s temporary. As soon as the experiment is concluded and Lars is back centring his own line, WHAMMO!, that’s when Brendan gets shifted back to that line.

        René Bourque is the same player he’s always been, the player we traded for. He’s not necessarily an Energizer Bunny, or the guy with the best hockey sense, as you point out, or with the most gumption or fire, but that’s part of the equation, that’s already factored in. If he plays with Max and David, they’ll carry the puck, he won’t need to do that, all that will be required is that he throw a couple hits a game, skate into the offensive zone, and wait for the puck to come to him. He’d be well-suited for that kind of role.

  58. Puck Bard says:

    Here it comes, and I can’t wait. Rarely have a moment to catch Les Boys, let alone Hockey Day. Oilers v Jets was a treat… bring it!


    I am so weak and Old, we only spent two hours outside, too cold for me.


    My lil girl and I

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member

  60. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …it was great for Me seeing P.K. pulling proudly on His sweater’s CH in celebration of an improbable win

    …it was ‘giving’ to the many Habs Fans there more than trying to poke Senator fans

    …it was something many Habs Fans needed and was pleased to receive from P.K., His reassurance to We insecure Fans that P.K. Indeed has deep pride being a Canadien and wants to stay a Hab

    …all that said, I agree with Orr, a hockey player best make this an exception rather than a rule

    …the hockey Gods have a way of stuffing excessive hubris up one’s butt in the NHL

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Agreed HiS, I’m so over the P.K. controversies, it’s just facile fodder for our media mavens. I refused to even understand or inform myself what the problem was now. If I’m to understand your post, they’re upset that he pointed at his logo? As you did, I took it as an indication of pride, not a case of rubbing it in for the opponents, never mind what the Sens baldie, er, goalie says.

  61. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Wait a minute…Boullion is in the line-up? If he’s better than Diaz and Murray, there is something wrong with my eyes.

  62. JohninTruro says:

    Really looking forward to seeing Beaulieu again tonight, and specifically on the PP.

  63. CH Marshall says:

    Forgot Drewiske is on the team

    • johnnylarue says:

      Never mind our overachieving Habs still doggedly clinging to 3rd in the Conference, but the fact that they’ve done so WITHOUT Davis Drewiske in the lineup is nothing short of a miracle!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I want him to be healthy next season, so when we trade with Columbus and repatriate James Wisniewski, we can have the Whisk and the Wiz on the same pairing.

  64. Psycho29 says:

    Nice to see the Rangers didn’t overdo the celebration at the end of the game. Wouldn’t want to upset Craigy Anderson and the Senaturds.

  65. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Rags/Turds game…major snorefest. Turds completely ineffectual. Happy to see them go down, especially after hearing the local radio crew call Zucarello a hobbit. And they have the nerve to say Subbie has no class…

  66. Stevie.Ray says:

    Wheeler sets up a beauty OT goal. Wouldn’t mind him in a Habs uni.

  67. WindsorHab-10 says:

    We hardly ever bring our A-game against the basement dwellers but I’m seeing a 5-2 win for the Boys 2nite.

  68. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Wondering what crap will be coming out of Don Cherry’s mouth on coach’s corner regarding PK Subban. For sure he’ll mention Bobby Orr and how he would’ve never done what PK did in Ottawa as well as blast Subban.

  69. Chuck says:

    Aaaaaand… that’ll empty the Crappy Tire Centre.

  70. CJ says:

    That will do it! Nice win New York.

  71. Chuck says:

    Not looking good for Nottawa.

  72. CJ says:

    For those interested, 24CH is on ctv Montreal.

  73. habs_54321 says:

    Would like to see subban move around on the power play more making plays and taking simple shots, his stick raised to the rafters one timer has become stale

  74. GrosBill says:

    In your face Charlie Murphy.

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