Awful night for Carey Price as Leafs rout Canadiens in Toronto
Pulled halfway through first period, fastest in his NHL career
Maple Leafs’ Colton Orr watches the puck shot by teammate Leo Komarov go past Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto, Saturday, April 13, 2013.
Photograph by: Jesse Johnston, THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs scored on four of their first five shots on goal and defeated the Canadiens 5-1 Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre. Goaltender was clearly the difference in a game that illustrated why the Canadiens should be wary of a first-round playoff matchup against the Leafs. James Reimer made 36 saves as the Leafs beat the Canadiens for the third time in four meetings. Carey Price and Peter Budaj gave up five goals on the first nine shots they faced although neither received much in the way of defensive help.
Still No. 1: Despite the loss, the Canadiens maintained first place in the Northeast Division, which means that if the season ended now, the Canadiens wouldn’t have to worry about the Leafs. Instead, they would be heading to New York to play the Islanders. Montreal maintained its one-point lead over Boston in the division when the Bruins dropped a 4-2 decision to the lowly Carolina Hurricanes.
Price isn’t right: Price was pulled at 10:25 of the first period after giving up three goals on four shots. The Leafs opened the scoring on a power-play goal by Tyler Bozak at 1:54, made it 2-0 on a goal by Leo Komarov at 8:08 and sent Price to the bench with a goal by Jay McClement at 10:25. It was the earliest Price has been yanked in his NHL career.
Budaj not much better: We might have had the ingredients for a goaltender controversy, but backup Budaj gave up a goal to Dion Phaneuf on the first shot he faced at 17:06 and Phil Kessel scored at 4:32 of the second period to give the Leafs five goals on nine shots.
Drewiske delivers: The only Canadien to beat Reimer was newcomer Davis Drewiske. The defenceman scored on a shot from the high slot at 13:08 of the first period to cut the Toronto lead to 3-1.
Specialty items: The Canadiens’ string of seven games without giving up a power-play goal ended when Bozak scored in the first period. The Leafs were 1-for-5 with the extra man. The Canadiens’ power play, which ranked fourth in the NHL going into the game, was 0-for-4 and managed only three shots on net.
He said it: When asked to characterize the Montreal-Toronto rivalry this season, Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said: “Lopsided scores.” He was almost right. The Leafs have won by 6-0, 2-1 and 5-1 margins. The Canadiens were 5-2 winners here on Feb. 27. The teams meet here to close out the regular season on April 27.
What’s next: The Canadiens play four games in six nights beginning Monday when the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN-Habs, RDS, TSN 690 Radio). The Canadiens travel to Pittsburgh on Wednesday and wrap up the week with their final two regular-season home games, against Tampa Bay on Wednesday and the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
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