Maple Leafs’ Phil Kessel is stopped by Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Hal Gill during the second period on Thursday night. Dave Sidaway, The Gazette
• At a Glance: Alex Auld didn’t last long in his start against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night, giving up three goals before being pulled in 5-4 loss to the Maple Leafs. The Canadiens opened the scoring when Jeff Halpern redirected a Roman Hamrlik shot 5:43 into the period. But the Leafs scored three before the period was over, chasing Auld. Phil Kessel scored the first two goals, both on the power play. Brett Lebda scored at 13:02, ending Auld’s night after allowing three goals on nine shots. The Canadiens would tie the game early in the second with a pair of power-play goals of their own. Michael Cammalleri beat James Reimer with an accurate wrist shot 3:42 into the period. Only 20 seconds late, James Wisniewski blasted a point shot beyond Reimer to make it 3-3. Tyler Bozak put the Leafs back in the lead with another power-play goal. His shot pinballed behind Carey Price with only two seconds remaining on a questionable call on Wiesniewski. Bozak scored his second of the game 4:26 into the second period not long after the Maple Leafs killed off a penalty, putting the game out of reach. Max Pacioretty made it 5-4 for the Leafs with 2:37 to play when his shot from in front of Reimer found its way behind the Leafs goaltender.
• What It Means: Montreal has lost four of its last five games and falls to 32-23-7 to remain at 71 points, three ahead of the New York Rangers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
• What’s Next: The Hurricanes come to the Bell Centre on Saturday night before the Canadiens hit the road for three games starting March 1 in Atlanta, then on to Florida and Tampa Bay.