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game recap

Leafs Edge Canadiens In Season Opener

Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 11:45 PM

The Canadian Press

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Leafs Edge Canadiens In Season Opener
Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Montréal Canadiens 3
Three Stars of the Game
James Reimer
1st
SA: 37TOI: 59:48
GA: 3EV: 28-31
PIM: 0PP: 4-4
SV%: .919SH: 2-2
Lars Eller
2nd
Lars Eller
G: 2Shots: 6
A: 1Hits: 2
PTS: 3PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 16:20
Tyler Bozak
3rd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 21:13
MONTREAL _ Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle had a gut feeling that James Reimer would rise to the occasion in the team's NHL regular season opener.

It turned out he was right, as Reimer made 34 saves and Mason Raymond got the game-winner in his first game with the Leafs as Toronto downed the rival Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in a fight-filled opener on Tuesday night.

One of the fights led to a scary moment when Montreal's new enforcer George Parros was carried off on a stretcher in the third period after falling on his face during his second bout of the night with Colton Orr. Parros suffered a concussion and went to hospital for further evaluation.

Between the five fights in the game, Reimer made the saves and won a fourth straight start against Montreal.

``That was the hunch,'' said Carlyle. ``He's played very well in this building in the time I've been here. I felt he gave us the best chance to win.''

Reimer got the nod over Jonathan Bernier, who joined the Leafs from the Los Angeles Kings in the off-season. Reimer proved his coach right, even if he doesn't acknowledge the debate among fans and media over who should be the Leafs' starter.

``When I'm in there, I'm not competing against anybody on my team,'' said Reimer. ``That's not what it's about.

``I'm competing against the other team, not the guys sitting beside me. They gave me the nod and I wanted to make the most of it and play my hardest for my teammates. And luckily enough, we won.''

Tyler Bozak scored shorthanded at 17:19 of the second frame and Raymond got the winner 5:10 into the third before Lars Eller's second of the night closed the gap to one goal with 2:22 left in the game.

The Canadiens pushed hard in the closing minutes, but could not get the equalizer.

``The execution by our team was not there,'' said Montreal coach Michel Therrien. ``A lack of execution with the puck led to two goals and a lack of focus without the puck cost the other two.''

James van Riemsdyk and Dion Phaneuf also scored for Toronto, who play again Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

Eller's three-point night included an assist on a Brendan Gallagher goal for Montreal, which next faces the Flyers at home on Saturday night.

The Canadiens' 350th consecutive sellout crowd was electric as usual for a Montreal-Toronto game and it didn't lack for action.

But the mood turned sombre 2:34 into the third period when Parros was prone on the ice. Orr had fallen and pulled down Parros, who was bleeding and looked woozy. Toronto's trainers joined those from Montreal in treating him on the ice for several minutes.

``Give credit to our training staff, our medical staff,'' said Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges. ``The doctors were out there in five seconds. They didn't waste any time. I just hope he's all right.''

The crowd chanted Parros' name as he was wheeled off the ice.

Carlyle credited his team's special teams for the win. They got the short-handed effort from Bozak and opened the scoring on a power play.

``I thought out special teams were the difference in the game,'' he said. ``The short-handed goal turned everything in our favour and the power play got us going.

``But I liked that when we got up 4-2 we were able to play more of the grind game in the offensive zone and chew the clock up.''

The Leafs were on a two-man advantage when Van Riemsdyk partially fanned on a shot at the side of the net that slipped between Carey Price's pads 8:01 into the game.

The teams were each down a man when Raphael Diaz slipped a pass to Eller for a goal at 10:08 and Toronto was caught on a 3-on-1 when Montreal got the puck behind Carl Gunnarsson and Eller fed Gallagher at 13:54.

Phaneuf tied it 8:36 into the second as he broke in on the left side to put a wrist shot inside the far post. It was the 19,000th goal in Leafs history in 6,169 games since 1917.

Bozak put Toronto ahead shorthanded at 17:39 when he poked the puck away from defenceman Andrei Markov at the point and went in on a break to beat Price to the stick side.

Raymond finished a give-and-go with Troy Bodie 5:10 into the third.

Price faced 38 shots.

Montreal got a scare midway through the first period when Max Pacioretty left with an apparent wrist injury after a hit from Orr. He returned in the second frame.

Notes: It was the fifth season in a row Montreal and Toronto played each other in an opener. Toronto leads 4-1, winning the last four. . . The Canadiens called up defenceman Nathan Beaulieu as insurance with Douglas Murray, Davis Drewiske and Alexei Emelin all injured.. . . Nazem Kadri played his 100th game for Toronto. . . Morgan Rielly was scratched for Toronto, while Montreal sat out Beaulieu, Michael Bournival and Ryan White.
scoring summary
1st Period
08:01
TOR
PPG - James van Riemsdyk (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Phil Kessel (1), Cody Franson (1)
1 - 0 TOR
10:08
MTL
Lars Eller (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Raphael Diaz (1), Alex Galchenyuk (1)
1 - 1 Tie
13:54
MTL
Brendan Gallagher (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Lars Eller (1), Alex Galchenyuk (2)
2 - 1 MTL
2nd Period
08:36
TOR
Dion Phaneuf (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Nazem Kadri (1), Nikolai Kulemin (1)
2 - 2 Tie
17:19
TOR
SHG - Tyler Bozak (1) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
3 - 2 TOR
3rd Period
05:10
TOR
Mason Raymond (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Troy Bodie (1)
4 - 2 TOR
17:38
MTL
Lars Eller (2) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
4 - 3 TOR
penalty summary
1st Period
06:23
MTL
Lars Eller  Tripping against  Joffrey Lupul
07:18
MTL
Tomas Plekanec  Hi stick - double minor against  Joffrey Lupul
10:03
TOR
Dion Phaneuf  Boarding against  Brandon Prust
14:19
TOR
James van Riemsdyk  Holding against  P.K. Subban
2nd Period
00:46
MTL
Daniel Briere  Too many men/ice - bench
04:25
MTL
George Parros  Fighting (maj) against  Colton Orr
04:25
TOR
Colton Orr  Fighting (maj) against  George Parros
09:14
MTL
Max Pacioretty  Hooking against  Nazem Kadri
11:43
MTL
Daniel Briere  Holding against  Jake Gardiner
12:58
TOR
Nazem Kadri  Cross checking against  Andrei Markov
12:58
MTL
Andrei Markov  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Nazem Kadri
14:05
TOR
Dave Bolland  Holding against  Lars Eller
17:10
MTL
Travis Moen  Unsportsmanlike conduct
17:10
TOR
Mark Fraser  Unsportsmanlike conduct
17:10
TOR
Mark Fraser  Interference against  Brandon Prust
17:10
MTL
Travis Moen  Fighting (maj) against  Mark Fraser
17:10
TOR
Mark Fraser  Fighting (maj) against  Travis Moen
3rd Period
02:34
MTL
George Parros  Game misconduct against  Colton Orr
02:34
TOR
Colton Orr  Game misconduct against  George Parros
02:34
MTL
George Parros  Fighting (maj) against  Colton Orr
02:34
TOR
Colton Orr  Fighting (maj) against  George Parros
02:34
TOR
Carter Ashton  Fighting (maj) against  Jarred Tinordi
02:34
MTL
Jarred Tinordi  Fighting (maj) against  Carter Ashton
15:38
TOR
Mark Fraser  Fighting (maj) against  Brandon Prust
15:38
MTL
Brandon Prust  Fighting (maj) against  Mark Fraser
15:38
MTL
Brandon Prust  Roughing against  Mark Fraser
goalie stats
James Reimer
SA: 37TOI: 59:48
Saves: 34EV: 28 - 31
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .919SH: 2 - 2
Carey Price
Carey Price
SA: 38TOI: 59:02
Saves: 34EV: 18 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 14 - 15
SV%: .895SH: 2 - 3
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