Canadiens beat Maple Leafs for 13th straight time

Carey Price made 33 saves for his 20th victory of the season and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 13th straight game, 5-3 on Saturday night.

Max Pacioretty, Artturi Lekhonen, Alex Radulov, Nikita Scherbak and Michael McCarron scored for Montreal. The Canadiens finished 4-1-2 on their trip and gave coach Michel Therrien his 400th victory.

James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak scored for Toronto. The Maple Leafs last beat Montreal on Jan. 18, 2014, going 0-9-4.

"They've got a pretty strong team and it's a rivalry game and for whatever reason, yeah it just seems to be going their way lately," van Riemsdyk said.

Frederik Andersen gave up five goals on 31 shots for the Leafs. They had a seven-game points streak snapped.

A fast-paced first period started quick with Pacioretty scoring 20 seconds in. The Montreal captain was set up in the slot by Radulov, who circled the Toronto net before finding his teammate in front. It was the 19th goal for Pacioretty this season and fourth in the last three games.

Lehkonen followed him up just over three minutes later, beating Andersen under the right arm.

The Leafs erased the two-goal deficit by scoring on consecutive power plays.

Bozak got the first on a fabulous set up by Mitch Marner, the 19-year-old dropping a no-look pass to his senior teammate as he slid through the slot. Kadri tied it with Radulov in the box for hooking. He banged home Marner's rebound for his 16th goal of the season.

Scherbak gave Montreal the lead back with 0.9 seconds left in the first, the 21-year-old earning his first NHL goal on another power play. A 2014 first-round pick of the Habs, Scherbak was playing in his first NHL game, recalled from St. John's of the AHL after Brendan Gallagher broke his hand in Dallas. Montreal also was without key contributors Alex Galchenyuk, Andrei Markov, Andrew Shaw and David Desharnais.

Radulov, who extended his point streaks to six games (four goals, eight points), upped the Montreal lead back to two on a power play 36 seconds into what became a testy second period.

Emotions intensified when Leafs tough guy Matt Martin threw a hard hit on Jeff Petry, which enraged Bobby Farnham, who charged at Martin when the whistle blew. Fights eventually broke out between Farnham and Toronto rookie Frederik Gauthier as well as Martin and McCarron.

Almost three minutes later Zach Hyman took a puck strong to the Habs crease, bowling over Price with help from a shove by Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin. Hyman was immediately jumped on by Shea Weber and dealt a minor for goalie interference.

"I think the league's got to make sure that they protect the goalie," Therrien said. "You can't let guys run the goalie like that."

Price shook off the blow and came up with a number of big stops as the period wore on, including a right pad save on Hyman's wraparound attempt.

Van Riemsdyk cut the deficit again to one on another tremendous play by Marner. With puck in tow, the Toronto area native whirled through the entire Montreal zone before dishing off to van Riemsdyk on the door-step, the American winger promptly tapping in his 14th goal.

Marner added his third assist on the night on the play and 32nd point in 39 games this season. He trails only teammate Auston Matthews (35 points) and Winnipeg's Patrik Laine (37) in the NHL rookie scoring race.

McCarron drove the Habs' lead back to two in the opening minutes of the third, his shot from just above the goal line beating a shaky Andersen.

NOTES: Toronto's nearly three-year slide against Montreal comes over a period of significant organizational reshuffling. Team president Brendan Shanahan and coach Mike Babcock, notably, were hired after the Leafs last beat the Canadiens in 2014. Only six players from that year's squad — five that played in the win — remain with the team today: Riemsdyk, Bozak, Kadri, Leo Komarov and defenders Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner.


Canadiens: Host Washington on Monday night.

Maple Leafs: At New York Rangers on Friday night.