ESPN's Bottom Line Widget

Sunday, January 20, 2013



TOR:   N. Kadri (PPG, 04:51 - 1st) , T. Bozak (PPG, 08:12 - 2nd)
MTL:   B. Gionta (PPG, 13:51 - 3rd)

TOR: B. Scrivens (W)
 MTL: C. Price (L)

        Last night in Montreal, the NHL made its return with a 48 game shortened season and what better way to start the season than a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. Before the game it was announced that Habs GM Marc Bergivan still couldn't come to a agreement on a contract with Subban, so PK sat this one out and his future in Montreal is questionable.  40 seconds into the game, Armstrong came up the right wing and fired a shot that was stopped, White crashed into the net and Prust put home the rebound, but the goal was waved off. 4 minutes later with the Leafs on a powerplay, Kessel centred the puck to Kadri and he fired a shot home to make it 1-0 Toronto.

     8 minutes into the second with the Leafs on their 4th powerplay of the game, Kessels shot from the left wing was stopped but Bozak was there to put home the rebound to make it 2-0. That would be the score after 2 periods. Montreal never really had any offense going until the mid way point of the third. with 7 minutes to go and the Habs on the powerplay, Diaz's shot from the point was stopped, but Gionta was there to put home the rebound to cut the lead to 1. But thats as close as they would get as the Habs drop the season opener by the score of 2-1.

    In the loss, Carey Price made 24 saves. In the win, Scrivins made 21 saves."Our execution was not there," said Montreal coach Michel Therrien. "We were missing our passes.I liked the reaction (in the third period). We never quit. But any time you lose the special teams battle it's tough to win. Tonight we lost that battle. We have to keep working on that." Montreal played a bad game all the way up until the third, they were losing foot races, they could handle passes and they couldn't get the puck to the net. But what I didn't like the most about the Habs in this game was that they had a line that I call "the tough guy line," with Prust, White and Armstrong. You can't expect to get any goals from a line like that, Therrien should ballance out his lines more instead of making a lineup that will put players in the box.

The Habs next game will be Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers in Montreal.

Written By Andrew Di Pardo

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