Hutchinson Stops 38 Shots as Maple Leafs Blank Canadiens

MONTREAL — Michael Hutchinson made 38 saves for the shutout and Yegor Korshkov scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 on Monday in pre-season play.

Darren Archibald also scored for the Maple Leafs, who improved to 2-3-0 in the pre-season. Nic Petan had two assists.

Charlie Lindgren stopped 22-of-25 shots as the Canadiens (4-1-0) dropped their first exhibition match.

Montreal outshot the Maple Leafs 38-25.

Toronto’s top young prospects were on display, with the team’s biggest stars not making the trip.

Forwards John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander were not in the lineup for the Maple Leafs. Defencemen Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin, along with goaltender Frederik Andersen, also did not play.

The Canadiens dressed Max Domi, Jonathan Drouin, Tomas Tatar and Jeff Petry on defence.

But it was the youngsters who took it to the handful of Canadiens veterans.

After a scoreless first period, the visitors struck first at 1:05 of the second. With Toronto on the power play, Korshkov crashed the net and fired a pass from Petan behind Lindgren.

Yegor Korshkov
Yegor Korshkov (Photo: RIHF)

The Leafs doubled their lead five minutes later through Archibald’s first of the pre-season. The 29-year-old, who has played 55 NHL games with the Canucks and Senators, drove hard to the net and cashed in Petan’s rebound.

Korshkov made it 3-0 for Toronto on a strong individual effort at 8:04 of the third. The Russian stripped the puck off Brett Kulak in Montreal’s end before snapping a quick release into the roof of the net.

Neuvirth and Hutchinson Battle for Backup Role

Michal Neuvirth was supposed to share the net with Hutchinson on Monday, but the former Flyers goaltender did not travel to Montreal. Neuvirth, who is on a professional tryout with the Leafs, is battling Hutchinson for the backup job.

Instead, the 29-year-old Hutchinson from Barrie, Ont., played a full 60 minutes and frustrated Canadiens players throughout.

With Toronto leading 2-0 in the final frame, Hutchinson made big saves on Tatar on the power play, Nick Cousins from the crease and Alex Belzile alone in front to preserve the two-goal lead.

A pre-season rematch is scheduled for Wednesday, with the Leafs hosting the Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena.

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Michael Hutchinson
Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Michael Hutchinson (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Toronto opens its regular season at home against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 2 while Montreal’s first game is Oct. 3 at the Carolina Hurricanes.

Notes: Canadiens defenceman Karl Alzner, recently recovered from a groin injury, made his pre-season debut.

Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press