Maple Leafs’ Francois Beauchemin gets bumped by Canadiens’ Andrei Kostitsyn during the first period on Thursday night. Getty Images
• At a Glance: The Canadiens dropped their season opener to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night, a 3-2 loss at the Air Canada Centre signed by Leafs goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère.
The Leafs jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the game was nine minutes old on goals by Tim Brent and Phil Kessel.
Dustin Boyd got one back for the Canadiens 12:19 into the period after some good work forechecking by Maxim Lapierre.
After a scoreless second period, Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur made it look easy in the third period, walking around Jaroslav Spacek and firing an accurate backhand past Carey Price 1:36 into the period.
The Canadiens came right back though, with another newcomer, Jeff Halpern, scoring less than a minute later to narrow the Toronto lead to 3-2.
Carey Price, who was questionable for the game with the flu, made 21 saves on 24 shots. Giguère made 26 stops for the Maple Leafs, including several game-savers in the dying seconds.
• Key Moments: Missing Michael Cammalleri and Andrei Markov on the power play, the Canadiens were unable score on three consecutive power plays in the second period and that would come back to haunt them down the stretch.
• What It Means: For now, it means the Maple Leafs are ahead of the Canadiens in the standings. But there are 81 games to go, so it’s still a little early to panic.
• What’s Next: The Canadiens go onto Pittsburgh for Saturday’s game, then return to Montreal to open the home portion of their schedule on Oct. 13 with a visit from the Tampa Bay Lightning.