Habs bite back on Leafs 5-2
Brendan Gallagher showed rookie smarts even before the gameday skate. Then he showed them again in the clutch 3rd period.
Gallagher gave up his #73 jersey for the return of Michael Ryder, happily switching to his new number 11.
Then Gallagher tipped a shot for a 3-2 advantage in the 3rd at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. Josh Gorges gained assists on Gallagher's 6th goal of the season, which happens to match one veteran sniper back in "bleu blanc rouge" for the 2nd tour of duty in his career.
Michael Ryder was supposed to give a boost to the Canadiens. Instead Ben Scrivens of the Leafs did just that.
The Habs fell behind in Toronto 1-0 despite another big shot advantage. Shots were 12-4 Montreal and thankfully Alexei Emelin snuck a shot past a screened Scrivens.
In the 2nd, Ryder seemed poised to make his mark with a Habs' 5-minute powerplay stradding from late 1st to early 2nd period.
Mike Brown ran Josh Gorges from behind, drawing a 5-minute major and game misconduct only to have the Canadiens' powerplay fizzle for 4-1/2 minutes until they caught a break.
PK Subban had his stick explode on release of a point shot that Scrivens directed right off Max Pacioretty and in for the go-ahead goal.
Before the end of the 2nd, Carey Price gave the puck away, allowing Nazem Kadri to feed to Clarke MacArthur for the game-tying goal.
Max Pacioretty admitted all he knew about Ryder was that his new teammate could "score from anywhere". Turned out Pacioretty did some sniping of his own in the club's first game since the trade of Max's frequent linemate Erik Cole.
Pacioretty ripped a shot from the right circle over the short-side shoulder on Scrivens to make it 4-2.
Brian Gointa added an empty-net goal late in 3rd as the Leafs were trying to get their netminder off the ice.
In the first game since the Grabovski-Pacioretty biting incident, Grabo was awarded a penalty shot on Carey Price, who stuffed the ex-Hab.
Brandon Prust challenged Dion Phaneuf by dropping the gloves, but the Leafs captain rejected in "invitation".
Like their shootout loss against Ottawa, the Canadiens drew little comfort in a big shots lead, 29-12 after 40 minutes.
Ryder at even-strength was playing on a line with Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk, the spot Erik Cole had most recently occupied. Brandon Prust remained with the centre most familiar with Ryder--Tomas Plekanec.
The Canadiens were outscored 8-1 by the Leafs in 2 games at the Bell Centre, so fitting the 1st place Habs win in the house of the Leafs.