Canadiens’ Brian Gionta fires the puck past Maple Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere during the second period Saturday night. John Mahoney, The Gazette
• At a Glance: For 20 minutes on Saturday night, the Canadiens appeared to be a little tentative against the Maple Leafs, but they found their legs in the second period en route to a 3-0 win. After a goalless first period, the Canadiens scored twice in the second with nearly identical goals. Benoit Pouliot scored his 12th of the season when he was left alone in the slot and was found by a nice bachand saucer pass from David Desharnais, who was posted behind the net. Pouliot fired a one timer to the top corner before Maple Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere could move across the crease 10:12 into the period. Brian Gionta scored his team-leading 21st of the season at 11:52 when Max Pacioretty found him with another backpass from beside the net and Gionta fired it past Giguere. Desharnais scored his fifth of the season 6:19 into the third period when he deflected Scott Gomez’s pass during a power play. Carey Price made 27 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and 27th win of the season, tying him with Detroit’s Jimmy Howard for the league lead. It was Price’s second shutout of the season against the Maple Leafs, winning 2-0 on Nov. 20.
• Key Moments: Pacioretty appeared to injure his shoulder or forearm late in the third period when he was hit into the boards by Luke Schenn. He left the game and did not return.
• What It Means: Montreal snaps a three-game losing streak and improves to 31-20-6 for 68 points, the same number of points as the Washington Capitals, who sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference because they hold a game in hand.
• What’s Next: The Buffalo Sabres visit the Bell Centre on Tuesday night before the Canadiens head to Western Canada for games against the Oilers, Flames and Canucks.