MONTREAL — Two breakaway goals by Jonathan Drouin gave the Montreal Canadiens a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia and Nick Suzuki also scored for the Canadiens (5-4-2), who snapped a two-game losing skid. Carey Price stopped 29-of-31 shots.
Jake Muzzin and Andreas Johnsson scored for the Maple Leafs (6-5-2) in the second game of a back-to-back. Backup Michael Hutchinson made 33 saves on 38 shots in defeat after Frederik Andersen led Toronto to a 4-1 victory over San Jose on Friday.
A second-intermission pep talk must have fired up the Habs because they scored three times in the third period to break a 2-2 deadlock.
Armia scored seven seconds into the frame, off a Leafs face-off win, by poking the puck around a flat-footed Muzzin and beating Hutchinson blocker side for his team-leading sixth of the year.
Drouin made it 4-2 for Montreal on his second breakaway goal of the night at 7:40 off a giveaway by Tyson Barrie at the blue line.
Suzuki put the game to bed with his third goal of the season on a 2-on-1 with Nate Thompson at 11:53.
This was the second of four contests between the Canadiens and Leafs this season. Montreal also beat Toronto 6-5 in a shootout on Oct. 5.
The Canadiens ran rings around a sluggish Toronto side in the first period and jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.
Gallagher put Montreal in front at 7:43 after breaking away from Cody Ceci’s loose coverage in front of goal. The first-line winger cut to the net and cashed in Tomas Tatar’s backhand pass for his fifth of the season.
Montreal doubled its lead through Drouin’s first breakaway goal at 12:34 on a beautiful backhand saucer pass by Armia from his blue line. Hutchinson got a piece of the puck but not enough.
For the eighth time this season, the Canadiens conceded a goal in the final minute of a period when Muzzin beat Price with 16 seconds left in the opening frame — Toronto’s first shot in more than 11 minutes.
The equalizer came 5:52 into the second. With Montreal unable to control a loose puck in front of goal, Johnsson flipped it over Price’s pad for his third of the season.
Typical of an encounter between the rivals, there was bad blood between Max Domi and Alexander Kerfoot, who traded words, slashes, big hits and even punches throughout the night.
Domi saw his seven-game point streak come to an end. … Hutchinson dropped to 0-3-1 all-time against Montreal.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2019.
Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press