Habs come up short in season opener
The Toronto Maple Leafs got power-play goals by Nazem
Kadri and Tyler Bozak to open the lockout-shortened NHL season with
a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
The Leafs went 2 for 5 with the man advantage and held Montreal
to 1 for 5 on a Brian Gionta goal, and that was the difference in a
sloppily played game from both clubs.
Montreal's anaemic power play was so disjointed for most of the
game, it had many in the crowd of 21,273 chanting ``We want P.K.''
in reference to holdout point man P.K. Subban.
But at 13:51 of the third period, Gionta banged in the rebound
off a Rafael Diaz point shot with a man advantage to make it a
The Leafs outshot the Canadiens 26-22.
Michael Kostka, playing his first NHL game at 27, earned an
assist on Kadri's goal and was second only to defence partner Dion
Phaneuf on his team in ice time in a strong debut performance.
The Canadiens dominated the early going but the Leafs took
momentum when they scored on their first shot of the game at 4:51.
A Phil Kessel pass hit a skate and went to Kadri, who lifted the
puck into an open side with goalie Carey Price moving the wrong way.
Montreal's Tomas Plekanec was off for unsportsmanlike conduct
after spraying goalie Ben Scrivens with ice when Bozak made it 2-0
at 8:12 of the second frame. A Kessel rebound went into the slot for
the Leafs' centre to lift over Price's glove.
A pre-game ceremony saw Canadiens legends including Henri Richard
and Yvon Cournoyer descend from the seats with a torch, which was
passed on to 1950s and 1960s great Jean Beliveau, who finally gave
it to current captain Brian Gionta to carry out to centre ice.
Louest cheers in pre-game introductions were for returning
defenceman Francis Bouillon, rookie Alex Galchenyuk and Price.
Top prospect Galchenyuk saw limited action on the second line and
showed flashes of talent but was dropped to the third unit for the