Bye-bye Bell ... for a while
The Canadiens won't play at the Bell Centre again until the Bruins visit on March 12.
In the interim, the Canadiens will play three games in California and visit Phoenix.
They ended their post-Olympic homestand with five of a possible six points.
But it wasn't easy.
First-period goals by Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty staked Peter Budaj to an early lead.
But the Leafs got a late goal from James Van Riemsdyk. And after a scoreless – and thrill-less – second period, the Leafs scored twice – JVR and Phil Kessel –in 2:25 of the third period to take the lead.
P.K. Subban made it 3-3 on a power play.
The Canadiens had two PPs in Overtime, and Pacioretty scored on the second man-advantage.
Canadiens had a 30 shots on goal, to 25 for the visitors.
Pacioretty's second of the game, on an Overtime power play, gives the Canadiens a W over their rivals
A shorthanded goal by James Van Riemsdyk tied the game at 2-2.
Then Phil Kessel, robbedearly in the period by Peter Budaj, gave the Leafs the lead.
P.K., on a Canadiens power play, secured the point that will keep his team ahead of Toronto
I didn't pay to get in, but stil ...
20 minutes of excitement-free hockey.
And it seemed longer.
When the highlight of a period is Douglas Murray hitting the crossbar ...
Leafs will start the third on a power play.
The Canadiens had two goals before the visitors had a shot on Peter Budaj.
AlexGalchenyuk's 11th of the season and Max Pacioretty's 28th gave the home team a 2-0 lead over the sluggish visitors.
But with less than three minutes left in the period, James Van Riemsdyk tipped a Phil Kessel past Budaj.
The Canadiens had 14 shots on goal to six for the Leafs.
A genuine four-pointer
The Canadiens and Leafs resume their Original Six rivalry in what should be a raucous Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
The home team sits third in the Atlantic Division with 73 points in 61 games.
Toronto is fourth with 71 points in 61 games.
This is Gary Bettman's Parity Dream: A tight race for playoff spots.
This is the clubs' third meeting of the season, which began back on Oct. 1 when Toronto spoiled the Canadiens' opener with a fight-filled 4-3 win.
Max Pacioretty scored 58 seconds into the game and added a shorthanded goal as the Canadiens won 4-2 at home on Nov. 30.
James Van Riemsdyk scored the third-period winner and Joffrey Lupul added an empty-netter in a 5-3 W Jan. 18 at the Air Canada Centre.
Peter Budaj makes his third consecutive start in nets for the Canadiens as Olympic hero Carey Price continues to nurse what everyonbe suspects is a knee knack.