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Leafs Look For Win In Hab Country

Saturday, 18.10.2003 / 2:31 AM / News
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Leafs Look For Win In Hab Country
October 18, 2003. (Associated Press)

GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (0-1-2-0) at Montreal Canadiens (3-1-0-0).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT. A little bit of practice put an end to the Montreal Canadiens' problems on the power play.

The Canadiens hope to continue their stellar work with the man advantage as they go for their fourth straight win when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.

Montreal, which started the season 2-for-14 on the power play, beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Thursday, going 3-for-4 with the man advantage.

"We're practicing a little more, and trying to get more shots on net," said Mike Ribeiro, who had a power-play goal and two assists. "We're focusing less on stickhandling the puck around the net and more on getting those shots.

"Last year we stood around a lot in the box but this year he (coach Claude Julien) wants more movement, and when we have a shot, don't miss it."

The Canadiens have scored five power-play goals during their three-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 13-2 in that span.

Goalie Jose Theodore has also been playing well for Montreal. Theodore, who had 22 saves Thursday, has started every game this season.

"Jose is, if not the best goalie, then one of the best goalies in the league," Montreal winger Jason Ward said. "When you've got a guy like that in nets, you're taking away second opportunities and stuff like that, and the other team's not getting much."

Left winger Steve Begin, who has been out with a strained shoulder since being taken from Buffalo in the Oct. 3 waiver draft, made his debut for Montreal on Thursday.

The winless Maple Leafs are coming in off Thursday's disappointing 2-2 tie with the New Jersey Devils -- their second straight draw.

Goalie Ed Belfour gave up a goal with just two seconds left in regulation, spoiling Toronto's bid for its first win of the season.

"It's disappointing to give up a game where you're in a spot to win," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "You have to win those, and that's all there is to it."

Nik Antropov and Darcy Tucker scored second-period goals for the Maple Leafs, who were outshot 15-3 in the first period.

Right wing Alexander Mogilny missed the game with a groin injury.

STANDINGS: Maple Leafs - 2 points, 4th place (tied), 4 PB, Northeast Division. Canadiens - 6 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - Antropov, 2 goals and 2 points; five with 1 assist; Wade Belak, 6 PIM. Canadiens - Ribeiro, 3 goals; Andrei Markov, 4 assists; Markov and Ribeiro, 5 points; Gordie Dwyer, 7 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 16): Maple Leafs - Power play: 7.7 percent (1 for 13), 23rd (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.6 percent (11 for 14), 22nd. Canadiens - Power play: 27.8 percent (5 for 18), 5th. Penalty killing: 83.3 percent (15 for 18), 15th.

GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Belfour (0-1-2, 0 SO, 2.53 GAA); Mikael Tellqvist (no appearances). Canadiens - Theodore (3-1-0, 1, 1.76); Mathieu Garon (no appearances).

SEASON SERIES: Canadiens, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 11; Canadiens, 4-0. At Toronto, Markov had two assists, and the Canadiens scored three goals in the second period.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 0-0-1-0 on the road; Canadiens - 2-0-0-0 at home.
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